On 2 June 2020 the Australian government announced that Melbourne-based Affinity Biosciences Pty Ltd (Affinity) would receive funding from the Australian Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) as part of a ‘biologics’ medicine consortium to discover potential antibody therapies for COVID-19.

Affinity is an antibody discovery business normally focussed on discovering novel cancer therapeutics.  In March, with the COVID-19 pandemic gaining momentum Affinity pivoted to screen its proprietary library of one hundred billion human antibodies to discover those that might neutralise SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. After a number of successful campaigns conducted in parallel, Affinity discovered a number of antibodies that are highly effective in neutralising the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory.

Affinity is working with renowned international and Australian academics and institutes to move the program forward as rapidly as possible.

As part of those efforts, Affinity will participate in a consortium of leading Australian biotech businesses and institutes to assist the Australian consortium to evaluate antibodies that block the SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting human cells.

The successful MRFF bid was led by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and includes several collaborators such as the Peter Doherty Institute, CSL, CSIRO, Burnet Institute, Kirby Institute as well as Affinity, with each contributing its unique expertise.

This Australian consortium has been granted funding from the Australian federal government’s MRFF, which augments earlier grant funding from the Victorian Government.

Further releases will be provided as Affinity advances its COVID-19 therapy.  For more information, visit affinity.bio/covid-19.

Media contact: WE-AUAffinityBio@we-worldwide.com