TOP NEWS: GSK, Vir To Probe Second Virus Antibody In NHS-Backed Trial

(Alliance News) - GlaxoSmithKline PLC on Tuesday said it will conduct an NHS-backed study ...

Alliance News 12 January, 2021 | 9:47AM
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(Alliance News) - GlaxoSmithKline PLC on Tuesday said it will conduct an NHS-backed study alongside Nasdaq-listed Vir Biotechnology Inc to assess the VIR-7832 antibody for early treatment of Covid-19.

The duo eye beginning the AGILE trial in the first quarter of the year, "across multiple sites across the UK". It is the second monoclonal antibody being investigated in the GSK-Vir partnership, the first, VIR-7831, is currently being probed in two phase 3 studies.

The news of the latest trial comes after various vaccines have been approved across the globe, though GSK Chief Scientific Officer Hal Barron said recent rises in hospitalisations mean other treatments are still necessary.

"While vaccine development has been very successful, current infection and hospitalisation rates show that multiple vaccines and therapeutic options will be needed to combat and ultimately end this pandemic. We are grateful to everyone involved in the AGILE study for supporting this important research and expect initial results from the study to provide important insights into the use of VIR-7832 early in the course of infection with SARS-CoV-2," Barron added.

Vir Chief Executive Officer George Scangos added: "We are pleased to have the support of the NHS behind our efforts to evaluate and advance VIR-7832 for the treatment and potential prevention of Covid-19. This study will be critical to our efforts as we work to understand whether the modifications we have made to this monoclonal antibody increase its potency and stimulate a T cell response to not only provide therapeutic benefits but also potentially confer a vaccine-like effect that could be applicable to prophylaxis."

Glaxo shares were 0.9% lower at 1,383.00 pence each in London on Tuesday morning.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

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