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03.04.2020 22:53:42

XBiotech and BioBridge Global Collaborate on FDA Program to Develop Potential COVID-19 Treatment Based on Natural Antibodies from Recovered Patients

AUSTIN, Texas, April 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XBiotech Inc. (NASDAQ: XBIT) and BioBridge Global today announced their collaboration to participate in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational program for U.S. blood centers to begin collecting and distributing convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

In working toward a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients, XBiotech has developed a clinical test that QualTex Laboratories, a subsidiary of San Antonio-based nonprofit BioBridge Global, will use to identify natural antibodies present in human blood that work against the virus that causes COVID-19. The testing technology will allow QualTex to identify blood that contains naturally neutralizing antibodies against the virus in patients who have recovered from COVID-19 (convalescent donors).

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Plasma collected from these donors by the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC), which also is a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, could be used to treat patients with serious and/or life-threatening COVID-19 infections.  STBTC will, in return, provide blood samples to XBiotech to enable the development of a candidate True Human™ antibody therapy for the disease.

XBiotech is in the process of transferring the testing technology to QualTex and training its laboratory professionals to perform the assay in its San Antonio laboratory to enable rapid identification and potential use of the convalescent plasma at medical centers in Texas.

"XBiotech is working to contribute solutions to reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Sushma Shivaswamy, Ph.D, XBiotech’s Chief Scientific Officer. "Our unique human antibody technology at XBiotech has been developed specifically to address these kinds of issues.

"We are humbled to be able to support BioBridge Global in its effort to use human convalescent donor blood to provide remedies for patients hospitalized with this deadly disease. XBiotech will continue to use its technology and resources to support the effort against COVID-19.”

Dr. Rachel Beddard, BioBridge Global Medical Director, also commented, "We are excited to be among the first to be able to provide our blood donors with the opportunity to help COVID-19 patients and their families fight this illness.”

About BioBridge Global
BioBridge Global is a San Antonio-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is committed to saving and enhancing lives through the healing power of human cells and tissue. It enables advances in the field of regenerative medicine by providing access to human cells and tissue, testing services and biomanufacturing and clinical trials support. Learn more at BioBridgeGlobal.org.

About XBiotech
XBiotech is a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to pioneering the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies. XBiotech currently is advancing a pipeline of therapies based on harnessing naturally occurring antibodies from patients with immunity to certain diseases. The approach to use natural human immunity as a source of new medicines offers the potential to redefine the standards of care a wide range of diseases. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, XBiotech also is leading the development of innovative manufacturing technology to reduce the cost and complexity of biological drug production. For more information, visit www.xbiotech.com.

About True Human™ Therapeutic Antibodies
XBiotech’s True Human™ antibodies are the only available antibodies derived without modification from humans who possess natural immunity to certain diseases. (Unlike all commercially available antibodies, which are called "Humanized” or "Fully Human”, XBiotech’s True Human™ antibodies are directly sourced from the natural human immune response for specific diseases without modification, and thereby have not been shown to cause immunogenicity.) With discovery and clinical programs across multiple disease areas, XBiotech’s True Human antibodies have the potential to harness the body’s natural immunity to fight disease with increased safety, efficacy and tolerability.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including declarations regarding management's beliefs and expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "expects," "plans," "contemplate," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "projects," "intend" or "continue" or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are subject to the disclosures set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of certain of our SEC filings. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

Contact XBiotech
Ashley Otero
aotero@xbiotech.com
512-386-2930

Contact BioBridge Global
Mary Uhlig
Mary.Uhlig@BioBridgeGlobal.org
210-731-5519