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AchilleS Vaccines Completes Industrial Development of Promising Treatment Against SARS-CoV-2

Today, AchilleS Vaccines, a biotech company based in Siena (Italy), announced the successful industrial development of a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) to treat COVID-19. The treatment, patented by Prof Rino Rappuoli’s MAD Lab and developed by AchilleS, could greatly improve access to COVID-19 treatment and has several advantages compared to conventional mAbs: it can be administered intramuscularly, avoiding the risks of hospitalization. Additionally, this mAb is highly potent and the low dosage treatment offers significant health and cost benefits.

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The AchilleS antibody project ‘mAbCo19’ will now be further tested in the clinic, possibly leading to an emergency market authorization this summer. AchilleS is developing this new therapeutic in cooperation with Toscana Life Sciences (TLS) and several partners, such as ExcelGene, Menarini Biotech and IBI Lorenzini.

"This event, for a small company like ours, is really something to be proud of." says Riccardo Baccheschi, CEO of AchilleS. “By continuing to play our role as an enthusiastic contributor to this potentially market-shaping compound, we will further support and materially coordinate the TLS-sponsored clinical and regulatory processes, hopefully up to market licensing. We hope to actively contribute to the elimination of this pandemic in Europe and in the world and to the return to a normal life for all of us, our collaborators and our loved ones ".

Rino Rappuoli, Director of MAD Lab TLS and inventor of the mAb said: “We are very happy to see that our monoclonal continues to perform extremely well not only against the wild type virus but also against the emerging variants.”

In June 2020 AchilleS received a substantial investment from the EU Malaria Fund (EUMF) to develop vaccines for malaria, other infectious diseases, as well as for the ‘mAbCo19’ project. The EUMF is a public-private partnership providing a novel funding instrument to address market failures in infectious diseases with significant relevance to public health globally.

“The development of this treatment against COVID-19 is very timely and much needed.” says Holm Keller, Executive Chairman of kENUP Foundation. “It shows that small- and medium-sized companies play an important role in the fight against COVID-19 and Malaria. We are grateful for the important work of AchilleS, TLS and Menarini.”

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