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August 20, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – GSK/Vir’s monoclonal antibody sotrovimab provisionally approved in Australia – Oxford study finds vaccines broadly effective against Covid-19 Delta variant

By Chris Lo

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted provisional approval to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology’s monoclonal antibody, sotrovimab, to treat adults and adolescents aged 12 years and above with Covid-19. The indication is for patients who do not need supplemental oxygen and are at high risk of progression to hospitalisation or death. Sotrovimab is the first monoclonal antibody approved to treat the disease in Australia.

A new study by the University of Oxford has found that two Covid-19 vaccine doses are effective against the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines offered ‘good protection’ against the Delta variant, the study found, but their efficacy was lower compared to their effectiveness against the Alpha variant. After four to five months, the effectiveness of these vaccines was similar against the Delta variant but long-term effects are yet to be analysed. The study also showed comparable or greater effectiveness of a single dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine against Delta versus single doses of the other vaccines.

Sorrento Therapeutics has reported that its protein-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate, DYAI-100, triggered neutralising B-cell immune responses against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and its emerging variants in preclinical studies. Protective neutralising activities were seen in the sera of vaccinated animals against an extensive spectrum of the virus and its major variants of concern (VoCs). Inoculated mice developed immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies recognising the spike protein of the prototype virus and the VoCs.

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