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GlaxoSmithKline says government to buy 600,000 doses of COVID-19 treatment

GlaxoSmithKline says government to buy 600,000 doses of COVID-19 treatment
A security guard hoists a GlaxoSmithKline company flag outside the GSK factory in Shanghai, China on July 17, 2013. The company said Friday the U.S. government will purchase 600,000 doses of its COVID-19 treatment. File Photo by Stringer/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology announced Friday that the Biden administration is purchasing 600,000 additional doses of COVID-19 treatment for patients suffering from the early stages of the virus.

The treatment, sotrovimab, is an investigational monoclonal antibody and can be used by patients 12 and older with mild to medium symptoms of the coronavirus. Some 1.7 million doses of the treatment have been purchased globally for COVID-19 patients, the company said.

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"We understand the role we can play in supporting the ongoing pandemic response, and our teams are working with urgency to explore options to expand our supply capacity so we can support more patients in 2022," Maya Martinez-Davis, president of U.S. pharmaceuticals at GSK, said in a statement.

Sotrovimab had been in short supply after becoming the go-to treatment with the emergence of the Omicron and Delta variants, which rendered other treatments ineffective.

"Data from multiple pseudo-virus and live virus preclinical studies, generated by industry and academia, continue to demonstrate that sotrovimab retains activity against all tested variants of concern and interest," George Scangos, CEO of Vir said in a statement.

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