AstraZeneca has licensed six coronavirus-neutralising antibody candidates from Vanderbilt University (VU) in the US, with plans to advance two into clinical development to prevent and treat Covid-19.

The company has assessed the ability of more than 1,500 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to attach to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and block it from infecting healthy cells in a laboratory setting.

Based on these pre-clinical findings, the company has entered an exclusive licence agreement for six antibody candidate currently in VU’s portfolio that targets the novel coronavirus.