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GlaxoSmith-developed Covid antibody treatment works on Omicron mutations: Study

06:45 PM Dec 08, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc in a statement has said that research done by its medical team and experts has shown positive results for the treatment of Covid-19 claiming that its Covid-19 antibody treatment is effective against the full combination of mutations in the new Omicron variant.

The drugmaker in a statement said the tests done in-vitro against a pseudo-virus that recreates a synthesized version of omicron showed that sotrovimab, Glaxo’s antibody treatment, stands up to all mutations in the spike protein of the omicron variant and not just the key mutations. The tests included all 37 mutations identified to-date in the spike protein.

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This comes following the uncertainty over the use of existing vaccination for the treatment of coronavirus and whether it is effective against the newly occurred Omicron variant.

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Shares of Vir Biotechnology Inc., the drug's co-developer, rose as much as 5.2 per cent in New York. Glaxo rose 0.2 per cent in London after a study showed that the UK drugmaker's vaccine developed with Medicago Inc. showed efficacy against several variants of Covid.

Given the less than a three-fold drop in neutralization during tests, "we are confident that sotrovimab will continue to provide significant benefit for the early treatment of patients hoping to avoid the most severe consequences of Covid-19," said Vir Chief Executive Officer George Scangos.

Sotrovimab reduced the risk of hospitalization and death in people with mild to moderate Covid by 79 per cent in trials. The drug won clearance from UK regulators this month.

What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:

"The 3-fold reduction in sotrovimab's ability to neutralize omicron in analysis conducted by GlaxoSmithKline's partner Vir Biotechnology should still mean a substantial level of efficacy vs. the variant -- though we have yet to see the details -- especially given the potential to dose at higher levels if needed. We continue to expect that the drop in activity for sotrovimab -- and that of AstraZeneca's AZD7442 -- will be less severe than that of Eli Lilly-AbCellera and Roche-Regeneron's antibodies. Glaxo's 750,000 doses in committed contracts with various governments could equate to $1.5 billion of sales," said John Murphy, BI pharmaceuticals analyst.

Glaxo said last week the drug was effective against key mutations in omicron but the more recent tests provide more certainty it could hold up against the variant.

(with inputs from sources)

Also Read: COVID-19: Omicron 'stealth' strain undetectable in PCR tests

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