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Investors Think Lebanon Biotech Startup May Be a Winner in the Fight Against the Coronavirus

Aug 31, 2020   |   Valley News

"...beating benchmarks is not unusual for [Tillman] Gerngross, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering and an entrepreneur who has birthed a string of successful biotech startups, including protein drugmaker GlycoFi, co-founded with Thayer colleague Charles Hutchinson in 2000 and acquired by pharma giant Merck in 2006 for $400 million," reports the Valley News in an article about Gerngross' newest company, Adagio Therapeutics.

"The idea for Adagio Therapeutics — Gerngross said the name was chosen to reflect the 'slow and measured' response required for the global pandemic — was born at Adimab, the private Lebanon-based biopharmaceutical company that he launched in 2007 and is now valued at more than $2 billion, according to one of its original investors.

"Unlike the high-profile mobilization to discover a vaccine to inoculate people against coronavirus, Adagio is instead focusing on developing an antibody in the laboratory that would 'neutralize' the SARS-CoV-2 molecule that causes the COVID-19 respiratory illness.

..."'We want to offer a solution that is responsive to the larger problem, not just the current outbreak,' Gerngross said last week. 'If you think (COVID-19) is the last one, I can assure you it is not. It’s just a question of when the next one is going to emerge. We want to have an antibody that broadly neutralizes the entire class of beta coronaviruses.' (Beta coronavirus, one of four classes of coronavirus, also includes the viral strains known as MERS and SARS.)"

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