UK companies team up to tackle coronavirus



British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with US peer Vir Biotechnology to find antibodies to help fight COVID-19 and "likely" future outbreaks, the pair have announced.

It comes as UK defense engineering group Babcock said it was collaborating to make 10,000 ventilators, which are in short supply across the country that has seen more than 5,000 deaths from coronavirus.

"GlaxoSmithKline plc and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. today announced they have signed a binding agreement to enter into a collaboration to research and develop solutions for coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," said a statement.


GSK will invest USD 250 million (228 million euros) into Vir to help "identify new anti-viral antibodies that could be used as therapeutic or preventative options to help address the current COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks", it added.