A drug containing a lab-produced ‘antibody’ reduces hospital admission or death from Covid-19 by 85 per cent, its maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced.

VIR-7813, created by GSK and Vir Biotechnology, is a new treatment for those with mild to moderate illness. However, a trial using the drug on very sick patients was halted last week due to a lack of benefit.

It contains monoclonal antibodies — laboratory-produced molecules that mimic human antibodies.

Due to its success, the global phase 3 clinical trial was stopped early with plans to immediately seek an emergency use authorisation in the United States and approval in other countries, including potentially the UK.

Initial analysis of the trials was based on data from 583 patients at risk of hospital admission. It found that hospital admissions or death were reduced by 85 per cent.

The drug works by blocking the virus from healthy cells and clearing infected cells, and is designed to be given as a single intravenous (IV) infusion.

VIR-7831 has also been found to be effective against the most common current Covid-19 variants, including the Kent, South African and Brazilian variants, in a separate study.

Dr Hal Barron, chief scientific officer at GSK, said: “We are pleased that this unique monoclonal antibody was able to bring such a profound benefit to patients.

Image Credit:   GSK

Post by Amanda Scott, NA CEO.  Follow her on twitter @tantriclens

Thanks to Heinz V. Hoenen.  Follow him on twitter: @HeinzVHoenen

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