Glaxo, Vir Halt Enrollment in Study of Covid Antibody Treatment

GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc. halted enrollment in a late-stage study of a Covid-19 antibody therapy on the recommendation of an independent monitoring board.

The study is looking at the effects of VIR-7831 in hospitalized patients, and the action was taken after “sensitivity analyses of the available data raised concerns about the magnitude of potential benefit,” according to a statement from the companies. The independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board “recommended that the VIR-7831 arm of the trial be closed to enrollment while the data mature.”

Doctors are looking for therapies to counter Covid-19, and London-based Glaxo and San Francisco-based Vir are working with the U.S. National Institutes of Health on studies of the antibody therapy. Other antibodies from Eli Lilly & Co. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. have received authorizations for emergency use from U.S. regulators.

Vir fell as much as 30% as of 9:36 a.m. in New York. Glaxo fell 0.6% in London.

A study of the drug in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients is expected to read out by the end of this quarter. The companies will continue discussions with the NIH about how to assess the treatment’s impact in hospitalized patients, according to the statement.

There were no reported safety signals from the treatment, according to the statement.

Glaxo invested $250 million in Vir last year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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