Sector News

GSK, Vir Bio start study of COVID-19 antibody therapy

September 1, 2020
Life sciences

The first patient has been dosed in a new Phase II/III study assessing the safety and efficacy of an antibody treatment for COVID-19 being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology.

VIR-7831 (also known as GSK4182136), is a fully human anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus-2) monoclonal antibody, designed for early treatment of COVID-19 in patients at high risk of hospitalisation.

The COMET-ICE study, which will enrol around 1,300 patients worldwide who have early symptomatic infection, will assess whether VIR-7831, as a single-dose monoclonal antibody, can prevent hospitalisation due to COVID-19.

Initial read-outs may be available before the end of this year, with complete results expected in the first quarter of 2021, and potentially early access to the antibody treatment as soon as the first half of 2021, the firms noted.

“Treating those with early COVID-19 disease so that it doesn’t become worse is critical both for the patients and for society. Hospital systems are overwhelmed worldwide, with new infections continuing to strain already limited resources,” said George Scangos, Vir’s chief executive.

“This study is designed to demonstrate whether VIR-7831 can significantly reduce the need for hospitalisation in high-risk individuals, such as the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions such as lung or heart disease.”

“Monoclonal antibodies directed against the SARS-CoV-2 virus could provide an effective and immediate immune response to COVID-19, bypassing the need for our body to produce its own antibodies, which is particularly important in the absence of an effective vaccine,” noted Dr Hal Barron, chief scientific officer and president R&D, GSK.

“This study will assess the ability of VIR-7831 to prevent high-risk individuals from progressing to severe disease, and in future studies we will also test the antibody’s ability to prevent infection in high-risk patients and to reduce disease severity in patients who are already hospitalised.”

GSK bought a $250-million stake in Vir earlier this year as the companies revealed a collaboration  to research and develop solutions for coronaviruses, including COVID-19.

By: Selina McKee

Source: Pharma Times

Related News

September 18, 2020

Eli Lilly, Amgen join forces to scale production of COVID-19 antibody cocktails

Life sciences

Months of fervid research have whittled away most potential options to treat patients with COVID-19, a group of antibody cocktails still hold promise. Eli Lilly believes so strongly in its contender that it’s […]

September 16, 2020

Takeda unveils new Boston R&D manufacturing center for cell therapy pipeline push

Life sciences

Japanese drugmaker Takeda has trumpeted its plan in recent years to cut billions of dollars in costs and pivot around oncology and rare diseases. A key part of that strategy […]

September 15, 2020

AstraZeneca, Oxford restart stalled COVID-19 test as Pfizer ramps up trial numbers for its vaccine

Life sciences

Just under a week after it stopped its key phase 3 pandemic vaccine test, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have been given the green light to restart in the […]