According to GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc., the United States government this week agreed to purchase another 600,000 doses of the COVID-19 antibody treatment sotrovimab, which will be distributed in this first quarter of 2022.
The arrangement stems from an amendment to earlier commitments between the companies and the federal government and will provide additional tools in the latter’s push for early treatment. The revised agreement also leaves open the possibility for even more purchases in the second quarter of 2022, should the U.S. government decide to exercise that option.
“We are proud to continue to work with the U.S. government to bring sotrovimab to patients who need it, especially as the Omicron variant continues to grow in prevalence across the country,” Dr. Deorge Scangos, CEO of Vir, said. “We understand the role we can play in supporting the ongoing pandemic response, and our teams are working with urgency to explore options to expand our supply capacity so we can support more patients in 2022.”
GSK noted that this arrangement also brings its total number of doses supplied through binding agreements worldwide to 1.7 million. Sotrovimab, which currently operates under an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is a single-dose intravenous infusion SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody. It is usable in mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 among patients at least 12 years old. Ideally, it is meant to halt progression to severe cases of COVID-19.
To date, preclinical data published in bioRxiv indicated sotrovimab maintains efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the widespread delta and omicron strains. Evaluation is ongoing.