GSK and Vir Biotechnology Announce Joint Procurement Agreement with European Commission for COVID-19 Treatment, Sotrovimab
This action follows the positive scientific opinion issued by the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA)
Recognizing the acute urgency of patient need across the world, the companies are engaging with governments and procurement bodies to make sotrovimab available to support the pandemic response. GSK and Vir have secured supply agreements with multiple governments around the world and will continue those efforts as the pandemic continues to evolve. In
GSK and Vir are committed to ongoing evaluation of sotrovimab as the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve at different rates across the globe and new variants of concern and interest emerge. Updated in vitro data, published in bioRxiv, demonstrate that sotrovimab retains activity against currently circulating variants of concern and interest of the SARS-CoV-2 virus including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Delta (B.1.617.2), Epsilon (B.1.427/B.1.429), Gamma (P.1), Iota (B.1.526), Kappa (B.1.617.1) and Lambda (C.37), as well as new variants from
About the COMET-ICE Study
The multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 COMET-ICE trial investigated intravenous (IV) infusion of sotrovimab in adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 at high risk of progression to severe disease. In
This ongoing trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of a single IV infusion of sotrovimab (500 mg) or placebo in non-hospitalized participants globally. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients who have progression of COVID-19 as defined by the need for hospitalization for greater than 24 hours for acute management of any illness or death from any cause.
The final COMET-ICE trial results in the full study population of 1,057 participants demonstrated a 79% reduction (adjusted relative risk reduction) (p<0.001) in hospitalization for more than 24 hours or death due to any cause by Day 29 compared to placebo, meeting the primary endpoint of the trial. The number of patients who were hospitalized for >24 hours for acute management of any illness or death from any cause at Day 29 was six patients in the sotrovimab arm (1%), versus 30 patients in the placebo arm (6%). In the sotrovimab arm, it is possible that half of those patients who were hospitalized were for reasons other than progression of COVID-19 (e.g., small bowel obstruction, lung cancer and diabetic foot ulcer); this was not the case for patients in the placebo arm.
In the safety analysis, 1,037 participants were followed through at least 29 days. The most common adverse events observed in the sotrovimab treatment group in COMET-ICE were rash (1%) and diarrhea (2%), all of which were Grade 1 (mild) or Grade 2 (moderate). No other treatment-emergent adverse events were reported at a higher rate with sotrovimab compared to placebo.
About the Sotrovimab Clinical Development Program
In addition to the COMET-ICE trial, the full COMET clinical development program for sotrovimab includes:
- COMET-PEAK, a pharmacokinetic trial in outpatients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 investigating intramuscular (IM) administration of sotrovimab, is near completion and initial data are expected in the second half of 2021.
- COMET-TAIL has been initiated. This is a Phase 3 trial evaluating the role of IM-administered sotrovimab for the early treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk non-hospitalized adult and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older). Data are anticipated in the first half of 2022.
The companies also plan to investigate the use of sotrovimab in uninfected immunocompromised adults to determine whether sotrovimab can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 infection.
Sotrovimab is an investigational SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody. Preclinical data suggest it has the potential to both block viral entry into healthy cells and clear infected cells. The antibody binds to an epitope on SARS-CoV-2 that is shared with SARS-CoV-1 (the virus that causes SARS), indicating that the epitope is highly conserved, which may make it more difficult for resistance to develop. Sotrovimab, which incorporates Xencor’s Xtend™ technology, also has been designed to achieve high concentration in the lungs to ensure optimal penetration into airway tissues affected by SARS-CoV-2 and to have an extended half-life.
Important Information about Sotrovimab in
For more information on the EMA positive scientific opinion, please review the EU Conditions of Use.
All side effects have been mild or moderate. Healthcare professionals should look out for side effects and take appropriate action.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorization of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the national reporting system listed in Appendix V.
Healthcare providers in the
Sotrovimab has been authorized by the
Sotrovimab is authorized only for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the emergency use of sotrovimab under section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
Limitations of Authorized Use
Sotrovimab is not authorized for use in patients:
- who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, OR
- who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR
- who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 (in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19-related comorbidity).
Benefit of treatment with sotrovimab has not been observed in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies may be associated with worse clinical outcomes when administered to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 requiring high flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
About the Vir and GSK Collaboration
GSK Commitment to Tackling COVID-19
GSK’s response to COVID-19 has been one of the broadest in the industry, with three potential treatments in addition to our vaccine candidates in development with partner organizations.
GSK is collaborating with several organizations on COVID-19 vaccines by providing access to our adjuvant technology. In addition to our work with Medicago, we recently announced positive Phase 2 data from our collaboration with Sanofi to develop an adjuvanted, protein-based vaccine candidate and started a Phase 3 trial in Q2. An earlier stage collaboration with SK Bioscience is also ongoing. SK Bioscience receives funding from CEPI and the
GSK is also working with mRNA specialist, CureVac, to jointly develop next generation, multi-valent mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 with the potential to address multiple emerging variants in one vaccine. GSK will also support manufacturing of up to 100m doses of CureVac’s first generation COVID-19 vaccine. GSK is also providing manufacturing support for up to 60m doses of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine in the
GSK is also exploring potential therapeutic or treatment options for COVID-19 patients. We are also assessing whether an investigational monoclonal antibody, otilimab, can help severely ill COVID-19 patients aged over 70 who experience an overreaction of their immune system.
Vir’s Commitment to COVID-19
Vir was founded with the mission of addressing the world’s most serious infectious diseases. In 2020, Vir responded rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging our unique scientific insights and industry-leading antibody platform to explore multiple monoclonal antibodies as potential therapeutic or preventive options for COVID-19. Sotrovimab is the first SARS-CoV-2-targeting antibody Vir advanced into the clinic. It was carefully selected for its demonstrated promise in preclinical research, including an anticipated high barrier to resistance and potential ability to both block the virus from entering healthy cells and clear infected cells. Vir is continuing to pursue novel therapeutic and prophylactic solutions to combat SARS-CoV-2 and future coronavirus pandemics, both independently and in collaboration with its partners.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company. For further information please visit www.gsk.com/about-us.
GSK Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2020 and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vir Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “plan,” “potential,” “aim,” “promising” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Vir’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the ability of sotrovimab to treat and/or prevent COVID-19, our collaboration with GSK, an agreement with the
Vir Biotechnology Contacts:
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Source: Vir Biotechnology, Inc.