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Vir Biotech CEO says its Covid-19 Treatment Stands Up Against All Variants

Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline’s monoclonal antibody Covid therapy “holds up well” to all forms of the virus, according to Vir President and CEO George Scangos on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Wednesday. Scangos’ comments come after the two businesses signed a $1 billion deal with the US government to commercialize its antibody, sotrovimab. Sotrovimab received an emergency use license from the Food and Drug Administration in May to treat mild to moderate Covid infections in adults and children.

According to the FDA, the antibody is given intravenously and is designed to target Covid’s spike protein and prevent it from binding to and penetrating human cells. Scangos said, “It certainly is an effective antibody against Covid, but also against SARS, also against many other coronaviruses. So not only, I think, do we have an antibody that stands up well to all the variants received from Covid, but potentially can help in future coronavirus pandemics as well.”

Even though the highly transmissible delta form will “be with us for a while,” Scangos believes that sotrovimab will likely defend against subsequent variants. Nevertheless, Scangos speculated that future mutations could be delta variants, similar to the Delta plus subvariant that officials in the United Kingdom began tracking in a growing number of cases this fall. The spike protein that Covid utilizes to enter the body includes two mutations in Delta plus, but the subtype hasn’t evolved far enough beyond Delta to be called its variety.

According to Scangos, Vir and GSK have received orders for 750,000 doses of their antibody treatment worldwide. According to a press release from Vir, the businesses will deliver the entire $1 billion charge to the federal government by December 17, allowing the US the option to buy further doses until March.

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