U.S. secures GSK-Vir COVID-19 antibody therapy doses worth $1 bln
November 17, 2021; 5:11 AM EST
While vaccines remain at the heart of the long-term fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, treatments including game-changing antiviral pills from Merck (MRK.N) and Pfizer (PFE.N), offer options to contain infections and save lives.
Pfizer said on Tuesday it was seeking U.S. authorisation of its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill that cut the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease by 89% in a clinical trial. read more
GSK-Vir’s sotrovimab has shown to reduce that risk by 79% in trials.
Unlike oral options from Merck and Pfizer, sotrovimab is given via an infusion. It belongs to a class of medicines called monoclonal antibodies which are lab-generated compounds that mimic the body’s natural defences.
The therapy was authorised for emergency use in the United States in May to prevent mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 from worsening. The European regulator has given its go-ahead for use by member states, although EU-wide approval is still pending.
“Given ongoing evidence, which demonstrates its ability to maintain activity against the tested circulating variants of concern, including Delta, we are confident sotrovimab will continue to be important,” Vir Chief Executive George Scangos said.
Last week, GSK and Vir said the antibody treatment was shown in a trial to work as well when given as a shot in the arm when administered via the standard infusion, potentially offering more convenience. read more
Sotrovimab brought in sales of 130 million pounds ($175 million) for GSK in the first nine months of 2021.
Last month U.S. authorities said the government would control distribution of sotrovimab in the country.
($1 = 0.7427 pounds)
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