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Vir, GSK In Deal With NHS-Supported AGILE To Evaluate VIR-7832 In Early Treatment Of COVID-19

Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (VIR) and GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK,GSK.L) announced Tuesday an agreement with the U.K.-based AGILE initiative to evaluate VIR-7832 in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 in a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial.

The trial is due to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

VIR-7832 is a neutralizing COVID-19 antibody that preclinical data suggests has two distinguishing properties. These are an enhanced ability to clear infected cells and the potential to enhance virus-specific T-cell function, which could help treat and/or prevent COVID-19 infection.

The AGILE trial platform will be the first to test VIR-7832 in humans. According to the companies, the AGILE trial platform uses adaptable protocols and statistical models to enable the evaluation of candidate medicines for COVID-19 treatment.

The initiative is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Southampton and Lancaster University and coordinated by the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Clinical Trials Unit across the UK Clinical Research Facility Network.

Hal Barron, chief scientific officer and president R&D, GSK, said, "While vaccine development has been very successful, current infection and hospitalization rates show that multiple vaccines and therapeutic options will be needed to combat and ultimately end this pandemic. We are grateful to everyone involved in the AGILE study for supporting this important research and expect initial results from the study to provide important insights into the use of VIR-7832 early in the course of infection with SARS-CoV-2."

VIR-7832 is set to become the second monoclonal antibody from the Vir-GSK collaboration to be investigated as a potential COVID-19 treatment. The first antibody, VIR-7831, is currently being investigated in two global phase 3 studies; for the early treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization, and for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

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