U.S. FDA limits use of GlaxoSmithKline-Vir COVID-19 drug

Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

Feb 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Vir Biotech's (VIR.O) COVID-19 antibody treatment should not be used in places with circulation of variants that are not susceptible to the drug.

Vir has said the drug, sotrovimab, retains neutralizing activity against the emerging BA.2 form of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

However, other recent research suggests that the variant showed resistance to nearly all of the monoclonal antibodies they tested, including sotrovimab. read more

The GSK-Vir drug is one of the few COVID-19 treatments shown to have worked against the original Omicron variant, spurring demand.

The United States had briefly paused the distribution of other antibody drugs from Regeneron (REGN.O) and Eli Lilly (LLY.N) over concerns they do not work against Omicron.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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