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.

Britain’s GSK halted enrollment and vaccination in three trials of the company’s experimental vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in pregnant women, the latest setback in developing a vaccine for the microbe.

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.

French drugmaker Sanofi and the company’s British partner GlaxoSmithKline are seeking regulatory approval for their COVID-19 vaccine to be used as a booster, as well as a standalone two-dose shot, after several setbacks.

GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare venture with Pfizer will be named Haleon, as the British drugmaker confirmed the business will be spun off in mid-2022 as planned after having rejected overtures from Unilever.

GSK paused a late-stage trial of the company’s vaccine candidate against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in pregnant women based on safety recommendations from an independent committee, the British drugmaker said on February 18.

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.