Leading global antibody discovery companies FairJourney Biologics and Iontas announce partnership in search for SARS-CoV-2 treatment

16 April 2020

London, UK – Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP, the European specialist investor in healthcare, acknowledges the announcement from its portfolio company, FairJourney Biologics, regarding the partnership with Iontas in search for SARS-CoV-2 treatment.

FairJourney Biologics (Porto, Portugal) and Iontas (Cambridge, UK) today announce a partnership to expedite the identification of effective antibodies for a therapeutic to treat COVID-19 patients.

As COVID-19 continues to impact individuals and societies across the globe, this partnership has been formed in the spirit of bringing together the world’s leading scientific expertise, technologies and laboratory facilities for a single common human goal.

The combination of FairJourney’s premier global technical expertise and extensive immune antibody libraries with Iontas’ next generation Mammalian Display technology will also see leading scientists from both companies join forces in the race to identify antibodies to be used in the development of safe and effective treatments.

The collaboration, between parties that would normally be considered competitors, will take advantage of FairJourney’s deep expertise in Phage Display antibody libraries from immune repertoires and Iontas’ premium, next-generation Mammalian Display technology. RNA from recovering patients, provided by Portugal’s Instituto de Medicina Molecular, will be a key source of antibody genes used for the identification of target antibodies.

This combination will enable the newly created partnership to isolate highly specific, neutralising SARS-CoV-2 antibodies displaying high affinity and preferential biophysical characteristics. The technology package will facilitate the identification of the right antibody without the need for additional optimisation, thereby reducing the risk of delays during development and subsequent scale up to manufacturing.

Maria Pajuelo, Chief Scientific Officer of FairJourney, commented: “Given the current pandemic, and our expertise in exploring the 1,400+ immune libraries built at FairJourney, we felt compelled to engage in an antibody-based intervention for COVID-19. In this challenging environment we are proud to come together with John and his team to combine our individual strengths for a common goal.”

John McCafferty, Chief Executive Officer of Iontas commented: “We are delighted to have formed this partnership with FairJourney. Collectively, we felt it important to apply the best platforms in identifying treatments against COVID-19. We believe by using a broad repertoire of antibody libraries and mammalian display, we can find therapeutic candidates that will progress through manufacturing and ultimately into patients in a speedy timeframe.”

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Further information:
GHO Capital Partners LLP
T +44 20 3700 7440
E IR@ghocapital.com

About GHO Capital
Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP, is a leading specialist healthcare investment advisor based in London. We apply global capabilities and perspectives to unlock high growth healthcare opportunities in Europe, building market leading businesses of strategic global value. Our proven investment track record reflects the unrivalled depth of our industry expertise and network. We partner with strong management teams to unlock value in a global system that demands the delivery of better, faster, more accessible healthcare . For further information, please visit www.ghocapital.com.

About FairJourney Biologics
FairJourney Biologics is a leading biologics CRO, providing integrated services across antibody discovery, engineering and production to global biopharma. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Porto, FairJourney has grown to over 90 highly technically skilled employees today. The Company operates a flexible, customer-oriented ‘one-stop shop’ approach to biologics development focused on quality, reliability and partnership. FairJourney has successfully completed more than 460 projects for over 70 customers across big pharma and leading biotech companies to date. The Company’s significant expertise in phage display technology, combined with a diverse approach to generating both immune and naïve antibody libraries have contributed to a market leading 99%+ project success rate. For further information, please visit www.fjb.pt.

About Iontas
IONTAS is a biotechnology company focused on antibody discovery and cutting-edge technology development. IONTAS offers services for antibody discovery using Phage Display Technology and Mammalian Display. The innovative Mammalian Display platform enables full length antibodies to be expressed in the context of a mammalian cell, thereby allowing selection based on function, stability, expression and developability.  To find out more, visit www.iontas.co.uk.

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