Early data show GSK-Vir drug works against all Omicron mutations

Sotrovimab is effective against all 37 identified mutations in the spike protein, GSK says

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said on Tuesday its antibody-based Covid-19 therapy – developed with US partner Vir Biotechnology – is effective against all mutations of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, citing new data from early-stage studies.

The data, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, shows that the companies’ treatment, sotrovimab, is effective against all 37 identified mutations to date in the spike protein, GSK said in a statement.

Last week, another set of pre-clinical data showed that the drug had worked against key mutations of the Omicron variant. Sotrovimab is designed to latch on to the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus, but Omicron has been found to have an unusually high number of mutations on that protein.

“These pre-clinical data demonstrate the potential for our monoclonal antibody to be effective against the latest variant, Omicron, plus all other variants of concern defined to date by the WHO [World Health Organisation],” GSK chief scientific officer Hal Barron said.

GSK and Vir have been engineering so-called pseudoviruses that feature major coronavirus mutations across all suspicious variants that have emerged so far, and have run lab tests on their vulnerability to sotrovimab treatment. – Reuters