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COVID-19 antibody therapy 85% effective, Vir and GSK say

Drugmakers seek consent to use treatment that works on more contagious variants

Britain's GSK and America's Vir Biotechnology say their experimental COVID-19 antibody therapy can reduce hospitalization and deaths by 85%.   © Reuters

Vir Biotechnology and Britain's GSK plan to seek emergency use authorization for their experimental COVID-19 antibody therapy after interim data from a study showed 85% reduction in hospitalization and deaths among patients, the companies said.

The move brings the antibody therapy one step closer to becoming another weapon against the pandemic, with similar therapies from Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals receiving recommendations from U.S. and European health regulators earlier this year.

Vir and GSK said in a joint statement on Wednesday that an independent panel recommended stopping further enrolment in the late-stage trial of the therapy due to evidence of "profound efficacy."

The companies said they plan to use the results of the study to seek emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory approvals in other countries.

Antibody treatments are designed to decrease the severity of COVID-19 among patients diagnosed with the infection.

Vir and GSK also said that a new laboratory study showed the therapy, VIR-7831, was equally effective against the UK, South African and Brazilian variants of the coronavirus.

Vir and GSK announced a partnership last year to research COVID-19 treatments.


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