A World Without Infectious Disease
A new era
We are developing a broad portfolio of product candidates that are designed to combat serious, global infectious diseases in entirely new ways, creating medicines that will have a meaningful impact on people around the world.
Given the global impact of infectious diseases, we are committed to developing cost-effective treatments that can be delivered at scale.
VIR-2218, an HBV-targeting siRNA, is designed to inhibit the production of all HBV proteins, including hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg), which in turn is hypothesized to remove the inhibition of T cell activity directed against HBV. We believe that achieving a functional cure for many HBV patients may be enabled by using VIR-2218 in combination with other agents. (Functional cure is defined as life-long control of the virus after a finite duration of therapy.)
VIR-3434, an HBV-neutralizing monoclonal antibody, is designed to block entry of all 10 genotypes of HBV into liver cells and reduce the level of virions and sub-viral particles in the blood. VIR-3434 has been engineered to have an extended half-life and to potentially function as a T cell vaccine against HBV in infected patients. We believe that achieving a functional cure for many HBV patients may be enabled by using VIR-3434 in combination with other agents. (Functional cure is defined as life-long control of the virus after a finite duration of therapy.)
VIR-2482 is designed as a universal prophylactic for influenza A to overcome the limitations of flu vaccines and lead to meaningfully higher levels of protection because it has broad strain coverage. We also believe that it provides passive immunity rather than relying on a person’s own immune system to create protective influenza virus antibodies. VIR-2482 has been half-life engineered so that a single dose has the potential to last the entire flu season, which is typically five to six months long.
VIR-1111, an HIV T cell vaccine based on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a commonly occurring virus in humans, is designed to elicit T cells that recognize HIV epitopes that are different from those recognized by prior HIV vaccines and to stimulate a different and specific type of T cell immune response to HIV known as an HLA-E restricted immune response. VIR-1111 is designed to establish proof of concept in a Phase 1 clinical trial to determine whether the unique immune response observed in pre-clinical trials can be replicated in humans. Ultimately, any candidates we advance as a potential HIV vaccine will require modifications to VIR-1111 before further clinical development.
VIR-2020, a TB T cell vaccine based on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a commonly occurring virus in humans, is designed to stimulate T cells that reside in the lung and to recognize parts of TB epitopes that are different from those recognized by prior TB vaccines.
Chronic and acute infections impact hundreds of millions of people every year.
We are taking aim at some of the world’s largest and most serious infectious diseases, infections that have long been evasive, challenging, or insufficiently addressed by current approaches. Our vision is that one day, diseases like hepatitis B, influenza A, HIV, and tuberculosis become a thing of the past.
Each year, there are approximately 1.8 million new cases globally of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and approximately 1.0 million HIV-related deaths. Highly effective treatments have fundamentally changed the course of the disease; however, current prevention approaches and medicines have had only a modest effect on HIV transmission in high-risk populations. We believe the most effective means of curbing the worldwide HIV epidemic would be a safe and effective vaccine.
Approximately 290 million people globally are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and approximately 900,000 of them die from HBV-associated complications each year. Currently, a year-long course of pegylated interferon-alpha is the best available curative therapy and it has a low functional cure rate of approximately 3-7%. Alternatively, suppressive therapy with nucleotide/nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors is commonly used, but patients often require a lifetime of therapy. There is a significant unmet need for effective therapies that lead to life-long control of the virus after a finite duration of therapy, which is the definition of a functional cure.
On average, the influenza virus infects 5-10% of the world’s population annually and results in an estimated 500,000 deaths. The efficacy of the flu vaccine ranges each year with an average of 40%. This is because flu vaccines often do not provide protection against all strains of influenza that circulate in a given season and many people who receive the vaccine do not produce an effective immune response. A universal flu prophylactic that could overcome both of these limitations and be used year after year would be transformative.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent globally. Each year, there are approximately 10 million new cases of TB and 1.6 million deaths. Approximately 1.7 billion people are estimated to have an asymptomatic form of TB, known as latent TB. The bacteria that causes TB is not easily cleared by boosting our immune system’s natural response to infection, which may be one reason why an effective TB vaccine does not yet exist. A safe and effective vaccine that prevents active pulmonary TB has the potential to help curb this worldwide epidemic.