GlaxoSmithKline, Vir Biotechnology say their COVID-19 antibody drug cuts hospitalizations, death by 85%

GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology said March 10 that their COVID-19 antibody drug was 85 percent effective at reducing virus-related hospitalizations and death in a phase 3 clinical trial. 

The drugmakers said an independent data and monitoring committee recommended stopping the trial due to the high efficacy rate. They plan to immediately seek emergency use authorization for the drug in the U.S. as well as authorization from other countries. 

If authorized, the drug would be the fourth COVID-19 antibody drug authorized in the U.S., according to The New York Times. 

A separate study showed the drug was also effective against virus variants discovered in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, the drugmakers said in a news release. 

The drug is being tested as an injection rather than an infusion, which would allow it to be given more easily, the Times reported. All currently authorized antibody drugs have to be administered through infusion. 

The federal government hasn't ordered any of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology's antibody drug. 

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