Although 2020 was a tough year for the biopharma industry — and most other industries as well — it appeared to rebound significantly in mid-2021. However, biotech stocks are generally getting hammered during 2022, although to be fair, the entire stock market is down.
The U.S. health regulator said on April 5 GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s antibody therapy was no longer authorized as a COVID-19 treatment, with data suggesting it was unlikely to be effective against the dominant Omicron sub-variant in the country.
The U.S. health regulator said on March 25 the current authorized dose of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s COVID-19 antibody therapy is unlikely to be effective against the Omicron BA.2 variant.
After producing vaccines and treatments for acute COVID-19 in record time, researchers and drugmakers are turning to finding a cure for long COVID, a more elusive target marked by hundreds of different symptoms afflicting millions of people.
An experimental vaccine developed by GeoVax Labs Inc. succeeded in promoting development of antibodies that target two different sites on the virus in a small pilot study and was advanced to mid-stage clinical trials, researchers reported.
COVID-19 patients who receive one of the few antibody treatments that works against the Omicron variant must be carefully monitored because after the drug is infused, the virus may mutate and become resistant to it, researchers warned after seeing such cases with Delta variant patients.
The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, which appears to be even more transmissible than Omicron, is accounting for more than a third of global COVID-19 cases. In other news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed limits on the use of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s COVID-19 antibody therapeutic, sotrovimab.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on February 23 GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotech’s COVID-19 antibody treatment should not be used in places with circulation of variants that are not susceptible to the drug.
An antibody-based COVID-19 therapy developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology retains neutralizing activity against the emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to data from a laboratory study cited by Vir on February 10.
Jane Qiu, a freelance science writer based in Beijing, published an overview of her efforts to investigate the lab-leak theory for the origin of COVID-19. In another update, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on February 15 to discuss an amended Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age.
Britain’s GSK forecast growth in 2022 after racking up 1.4 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) in COVID-related sales in 2021, beating quarterly forecasts in the company’s first earnings report since rejecting Unilever’s bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer arm.