Humabs BioMed, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vir Biotechnology, based in Greater Zurich, uses its immunologic expertise and cutting-edge technology to combat infectious diseases and other serious conditions. They are a pioneer in the discovery, engineering, and early development of human monoclonal antibodies, and have helped Vir transform the infectious disease landscape.

Humabs is recognized for its pioneering role in the discovery, engineering, and early development of human monoclonal antibodies to fight infectious diseases. The world-class scientific team at Humabs has published its scientific discoveries in dozens of prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Science, Nature and Cell.

The antibodies discovered and developed by Humabs have helped Vir transform the infectious disease landscape. From Ebola, with the discovery and early development of EbangaTM, one of the two only treatments for Ebola available to date, to COVID-19, with the discovery and development, in cooperation with GSK, of Xevudy, an early treatment distributed in over 40 countries during the pandemic.

Humabs was co-founded in 2004 by Dr. Antonio Lanzavecchia, a renowned immunologist and founding director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona, and Dr. William J. Rutter, an industry veteran, academic and successful entrepreneur. It was acquired by Vir Biotechnology in 2017 and its antibody discoveries play an important role in collaborations with institutions such as the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

In 2023 Humabs won the Swiss Biotech Success Stories Award for its contribution to the industry and to Switzerland. Vir is advancing in the clinic various antibodies discovered by the team of Humabs in Bellinzona, such as antibodies against hepatitis delta and hepatitis B virus infection, influenza, RSV, and others.

We are proud to have expanded our presence in Bellinzona, a town located in Greater Zurich that has strengthened its position as an international center of scientific research over the years.
Filippo Riva - Managing Director, Humabs BioMed

Further expansion of research labs in the Greater Zurich Area

Vir Biotechnology not only decided to keep the site in the Greater Zurich Area after the acquisition of Humabs but also to invest further in it. In 2019, Humabs BioMed opened a new research laboratory in Bellinzona, in the Canton of Ticino. The laboratory covers an area of 700 square meters and includes an equally large office space that can accommodate more than 60 employees.

Recognizing the advantages of the Greater Zurich Area’s vibrant biotech ecosystem, Humabs is now working on further expanding its laboratory and office space to cover an area of over 4,000 square meters. The region is home to industry-leading companies, top universities and research institutions, and attracts talent from around the world, which allows biotech companies to innovate and thrive. Humabs' expansion will allow space for more than 130 employees, leveraging local expertise and strategic partnerships to advance research and development initiatives. Filippo Riva, Managing Director of Humabs BioMed, is convinced that the location will help strengthen research lines and accelerate developments.


Logo Humabs BioMed

Biotech in the Greater Zurich Area

Biotech in the Greater Zurich Area

The Greater Zurich Area is a leading location for top biotech companies in Europe. The region attracts capital and researchers from across the globe and is home to some of the most innovative businesses in the world. Biotech companies in Greater Zurich can secure opportunities rarely seen in other places, e.g. from the flexible labor laws, a stable economic environment and a highly qualified workforce. Pharmaceutical companies also receive these benefits.

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