(Bloomberg) -- A new UK biotech company, backed by AstraZeneca Plc and led by former Sanofi executive Hugo Fry, is targeting the treatment and prevention of viral diseases with antibodies.

Fry is now chief executive officer at RQ Biotechnology, which launched Tuesday with funding of as much as $157 million, plus royalties, from a licensing deal with AstraZeneca, the U.K. pharmaceutical company. The pact focuses on RQ’s early-stage monoclonal antibodies against Covid, according to a statement Tuesday. 

RQ, based in London, aims to protect vulnerable people at risk of severe disease or death from viral infections and plans to expand to target other threats.

Rajeev Venkayya, who stepped down as head of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s vaccines unit earlier this year, took the reins of Aerium Therapeutics, a new biotech company focusing on developing monoclonal antibodies against Covid. 



©2022 Bloomberg L.P.