Partnership of Boehringer Ingelheim and YUMAB yields in receptor blocking antibodies against SARS-CoV-2
Braunschweig, March 25, 2020 – YUMAB, a German antibody development company, generated and characterized the first fully human antibodies with receptor blocking activity against the new coronavirus strain SARS-Co-V2 in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim by applying phage display technology. YUMAB has utilized its powerful human antibody discovery platform to identify a set of novel fully human antibody candidates in less than four weeks. The antibodies bind to a surface protein of SARS-Co-V2 including candidates that inhibit the interaction with the host cell receptor, thereby potentially blocking the virus from infection. YUMAB´s CEO Thomas Schirrmann is convinced: “By generating these inhibitory antibodies the first step is taken towards a potential therapy to combat COVID-19. Thanks to all partners involved for their excellent cooperation.” Boehringer Ingelheim will now pursue further development of the new candidates and integrate them in their initiatives that are aimed at finding medical solutions to contain and cope with the global spread of COVID-19. In this context, the company is actively engaged in various projects of institutional consortia, including the Innovative Medicines Initiative of the European Union together with the German Center for Infectious Research (DZIF).