U.S. places a sizable order for GSK-Vir’s COVID-19 treatment

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is a News Reporter at Invezz covering the European, Asian and North America stock markets. Wajeeh has 5… read more.
on Nov 17, 2021
  • The U.S. government ordered about $1.0 billion worth of GSK-VIR's Sotrovimab.
  • The two companies now have to deliver more than 750,000 doses globally.
  • Pfizer Inc submitted its oral COVID-19 antiviral for FDA approval on Tuesday.

Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON: GSK) announced in a joint statement with the U.S. based Vir Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: VIR) on Wednesday that the U.S. government had agreed to buy about $1.0 billion worth of their antibody-based COVID-19 treatment.

U.S. wants GSK to deliver the doses by December 17th  

The number of doses of Sotrovimab that the United States will be receiving remains undisclosed, but the two companies did reveal that the new order brings the total number of doses they are required to supply globally to over 750,000.

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That includes 220,000 doses of Sotrovimab for the European Union and another 10,000 for Canada – the monetary value of both is unknown. The U.S. order is to be delivered by December 17th, upon which, the government could decide to buy more in the first quarter of 2022.

Earlier this year, GSK said it will spin off its consumer health business. Shares of the pharmaceutical giant are trading up about 1.0% on Wednesday.  

Pfizer submitted its oral COVID antiviral for FDA approval

The news comes a day after Pfizer Inc submitted its oral COVID-19 antiviral that was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by 89% for authorisation to the U.S. FDA.

GSK’s Sotrovimab, developed in collaboration with Vir Biotech, in comparison, reduces that risk by 79%. It is, however, different from Pfizer as it’s given via an infusion and is not an oral drug. But last week, Sotrovimab was shown to be just as effective when given as a shot in the arm – making it much easier to administer it.

In the first three quarters of 2021, GSK has generated roughly $175 million worth of sales from the antibody-based COVID-19 treatment, as per the quarterly earnings report published in late October.

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