The race to find successful antibody treatments against Covid-19 is heating up as GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Vir Biotechnology Inc. start human trials to evaluate a potential drug that could be available as soon as the first half of next year.
The therapy is advancing directly to the middle and final stages of clinical tests with a study that began last week, the companies said in a statement Monday. The trials will involve 1,300 high-risk patients from across the globe and focus on preventing hospitalization for people with early or mild coronavirus symptoms, with initial results possible before year-end.
Glaxo and Vir are among a number of drugmakers seeking to fight, or even prevent, Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies, which aim to mimic the body’s natural immune response. Such treatments could provide a short-term solution before a vaccine becomes available, and may also be necessary for older or more vulnerable people who don’t respond as well to a shot.
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