Biogen, yes, that company, will be one of two companies to work with a California startup that says it has discovered a possible molecule that could be used to fight Covid-19.
Vir Biotechnology, a small San Francisco company, says its researchers have found "multiple human monoclonal antibody (mAb) development candidates" that show potential in latching onto parts of the exterior of the Covid-19 virus and that to speed up development, it's forwarded samples to two larger companies, one in China and and Cambridge-based Biogen, which normally works on brain diseases.
Vir says it hopes the larger companies can get the antibodies into human trials within five months.
It says the antibody essentially grabs onto an "epitope," a sort of spike, on the surface of the Covid-19 virus that is identical to one found on the older SARS virus from which Covid-19 may have sprung.
That action in itself could slow viral replication, but Vir says it's also working on a version that could also stimulate the immune system to create its own response to Covid-19, which could mean a more permanent defense against the virus.