Last Updated:

Omicron Scare: GSK-Vir's Drug Sotrovimab Works Against COVID Mutations, Reveals New Study

GSK's antibody-based Covid-19 medication with US partner Vir Biotechnology is effective against all mutations of the novel Omicron COVID strain.


Image: AP

GSK's antibody-based COVID-19 medication with US partner Vir Biotechnology is effective against all mutations of the novel Omicron COVID strain, according to recent evidence from early-stage tests. According to a press release issued by GSK on December 7, the evidence, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical publication, reveals that the firms' Covid drug, Sotrovimab, is effective against all 37 reported spike protein mutations to date.

In vitro tests against a pseudo-virus that replicates a synthesized variant of Omicron revealed that Sotrovimab, antibody treatment of GSK-Vir, can withstand all changes in the Omicron variant's spike protein, not only the crucial alterations, according to the drugmaker. Glaxo's comments come amid questions about whether and how much Omicron weakens the defences of existing medications and vaccinations. Its numerous mutations, particularly on the spike protein, which is the target of most treatments, have scared medical fraternity and researchers around the world.

CEO of Vir, George Scangos, "Sotrovimab is the first monoclonal antibody to report preclinical data demonstrating activity against all tested SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and interest to date, including Omicron. 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.”

Sotrovimab lowered risk of hospitalisation and death in clinical trials

In clinical trials, Sotrovimab lowered the risk of hospitalisation and death in persons with mild to moderate COVID cases by 79%. This month, U.K. regulators approved the medicine. Glaxo indicated last week that the medicine was effective against major Omicron alterations, but the more recent studies provide further assurance that it can withstand the variant. The injectable antibodies are just one tool in the arsenal of Covid therapies, but they could be crucial for immune-compromised persons who do not respond adequately to vaccines, as well as helping to minimise the impact of the virus in those who are more prone to severe disease.

In pre-market trade, shares of Vir Biotechnology Inc., the drug's co-developer, were up as much as 7.4%. Glaxo climbed 0.5% in London after a study found that a vaccination produced by Glaxo and Vir Biotechnology Inc. was effective against many COVID variants. Moreover, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals' stock has risen by a whopping 19% in the last three months.

First Published: