New covid variant: GSK-Vir drug effective against all Omicron variants

The announcement came citing new data from early-stage studies.

GSK and Vir have been working on so-called pseudoviruses that worked primarily on all major mutations (coronavirus) across all the variants (Reuters Photo)

In a big announcement, British drugmaker GSK on Tuesday said its antibody-based covid-19 therapy with partner Vir Biotechnology works against all new omicron covid-19 variants and is effective. The announcement came citing new data from early-stage studies. The data is still to be published in a medical journey and shows that companies’ treatment, sotrovimab, works against all the mutations (37) up till now in the spike protein, read the GSK statement.

A pre-clinical data published last week also showed that the drug is effective against mutations of omicron variant, the cases of which are rising in India. Sotrovimab locks the spike protein on the surface of the covid-19 virus. On the other hand, Omicron is found to have a strikingly high number of mutations on that protein.

Hal Barron, GSK Chief Scientific Officer informed that the pre-clinical data shows that our monoclonal antibody has shown potential and is effective against the latest new covid variant Omicron. It is also effective against all the other variants of concerns defined up till now by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to a Reuters report, GSK and Vir have together been working on so-called pseudoviruses that worked primarily on all major mutations (coronavirus) across all the variants so far. They have also run lab tests on their vulnerability to sotrovimab treatment.

Also Read: Omicron Covid Variant: Omicron’s ‘stealth’ version, GSK treatment to Dr Fauci’s claim – Top 10 updates on new Coronavirus variant

On December 2, GSK and Vir Biotechnology’s based covid-19 treatment, Xevudy, was approved by Britain’s drug regulator, reported Reuters. It was approved for those with mild-to-moderate covid-19 who are at the risk of developing of high infection. The big approval came after GSK announced the same treatment has also worked against the Omicron variant.

WHO has categorized the new covid-19 variant as the ‘Variant of concern’ as experts claim Omicron possesses certain characteristics which lead to genetic modification in the virus. Those who have tested positive for Omicron have either come from African countries or had come in close contact with people infected with the variant.

Anthony Fauci, Top Scientist, US said early indications and signs suggest that the Omicron variant is not a bad as the prior concerning strains and is possibly milder. The scientist also cautioned that it takes at least two weeks to discover the severity of the variant.

Also Read: Coronavirus Omicron India Live Updates: India inching towards 130 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses mark; US scientist Anthony Fauci says Omicron milder than previous variants

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