BIA celebrates RQ BIO licencing agreement with AstraZeneca for monoclonal antibodies targeted at COVID-19

Today RQ BIO has announced a licencing agreement with AstraZeneca for its portfolio of early-stage monoclonal antibodies targeted against SARS-CoV-2, with the company also emerging from stealth mode on completion of the agreement. RQ Bio is a UK-based biotechnology company focused on developing treatments and preventative therapies based on potent broad-spectrum mAbs to address areas of unmet need in vulnerable patient populations.

RQ BIO’s founders were brought together in March 2020 when the BioIndustry Association (BIA) formed the UK BIA Antibody taskforce, a consortium of biotech companies, academia and charities to identify and develop neutralising antibodies to protect at-risk groups and avoid lockdowns. The UK BIA Antibody taskforce’s major milestones included developing an accelerated and rigorous approach to create a pool of over 600 novel candidates and identified a set of antibodies with the greatest potential in record time. Rather than taking the industry standard 18 months for antibody discovery, the Taskforce did it in less than seven.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA said: “This is fantastic news to see a new company emerge with a leadership team who has a strong track record of delivering innovative products and a deep commitment to the UK life sciences and biotech sector. RQ Bio is a true UK success story, innovative science built upon strong collaborations with companies, academia and charities, resulting in today’s announcement of a licencing deal with a key global player in AstraZeneca.

“The work of RQ BIO will be crucial in finding antibody treatments that can tackle COVID-19 particularly for those patient groups where vaccines are ineffective against the virus. 

“The BIA was proud to bring together the scientists who have formed RQ BIO in the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to companies, academics and researchers to deliver antibody treatments to patients. I’m delighted to see the hard work of the past few years come to fruition in this licencing agreement and RQ BIO emerging from stealth mode.”


Notes to Editors

  1. For more information, please contact Jack Fellows, Strategic Communications and Media Manager at the BIA on [email protected]
  2. Read more on the UK BIA Antibody Taskforce here