Responding to a request from a Chinese biotechnology company working closely with officials in China, Medarex, Inc. and the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories (MBL) of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have shipped to Beijing a sample of the fully human antibody to SARS developed by Medarex and MBL/UMMS.
The antibody was sent to Sinovac Biotech Co., Ltd. for preclinical testing against SARS strains used for their vaccine and the control strain from previous cases in China.
In response to the recent outbreak of SARS, and to assist with research on potential therapies, Beijing-based Sinovac submitted this idea to the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration and received support to test the Medarex/MBL/UMMS antibody before any further action. Sinovac plans to conduct preclinical tests to determine the antibody's effectiveness in neutralizing the strains of the SARS virus.
As previously announced, MBL/UMMS partnered with Medarex to use Medarex's UltiMAb technology to generate fully human antibodies with the potential to treat SARS. Under the terms of the agreement, Medarex and MBL expect to share equally the full development costs of any antibody products as well as any future revenues arising from these products.