New Covid drug can work against all mutations of Omicron variant

New Covid drug can work against all mutations of Omicron variant, latest data suggests

  • Lab studies shown sotrovimab effective against 37 known mutations of new strain
  • Data last week indicated the drug could combat several key mutations of Omicron
  • New data means the treatment will work against the variant in all its forms 
  • Drug was approved last week after it was revealed it cut hospitalisations and death in patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms by 79 per cent 
  • A COVID antibody treatment has been shown to work against all mutations of the Omicron variant, according to new data.

    Lab studies have shown that the drug, called sotrovimab and developed by British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline with US firm Vir Biotechnology, is effective against the 37 currently known mutations of the new strain.

    Data last week had indicated sotrovimab was able to combat several key mutations of Omicron. But the new data means the treatment will work against the variant in all its forms.

    And the drug was approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency last week after trials showed it cut the chance of hospitalisation and death in patients with mild to moderate Covid symptoms by 79 per cent.

    Lab studies have shown that the drug, called sotrovimab and developed by British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline with US firm Vir Biotechnology, is effective against the 37 currently known mutations of the new strain

    Lab studies have shown that the drug, called sotrovimab and developed by British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline with US firm Vir Biotechnology, is effective against the 37 currently known mutations of the new strain

    Sotrovimab, sold under the brand name Xevudy, is used to stop people developing severe Covid cases and is useful for people with suppressed immune systems. It gives the body Covid antibodies to fight the illness while antivirals interfere with how the virus reproduces.

    The UK Government has already ordered around 100,000 doses.

    The MHRA authorisation means it has now approved two antibody treatments, Ronapreve and Xevudy, and one antiviral, Lagevrio, also known as molnupiravir.

    The new data is likely to be greeted with relief by many public health experts amid ongoing uncertainty around whether existing Covid-19 vaccines and treatments can fight back effectively against Omicron.

    There was also a second dose of good news, with a plant-based Covid-19 vaccine, developed by GSK alongside Canadian biotech Medicago, shown to be 71 per cent effective against several variants of Covid-19 and 75pc effective against the highly infectious Delta strain.

    The trial also showed that there were no serious adverse reactions to the vaccine in the 24,000 people involved in the study

    The trial also showed that there were no serious adverse reactions to the vaccine in the 24,000 people involved in the study

    The trial also showed that there were no serious adverse reactions to the vaccine in the 24,000 people involved in the study.

    As a result of the data, GSK and Medicago are planning to imminently request approval for the jab from Canadian regulators.

    If given the green light, it will become the world’s first plant-based Covid-19 vaccine authorised for human use.

    Plant-based medicines can be produced quickly and in large quantities, making them useful for mass public health campaigns and vaccination drives.

    The GSK-Medicago vaccine can also be stored at refrigerator temperature, making it easier to transport than some existing vaccines such as the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which needs to be stored at -70 degrees centigrade.