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Vir Biotech to begin mid-to-late stage study of COVID-19 drug candidate in August

Aug 11 (Reuters) – Vir Biotechnology Inc said on Tuesday it plans to start a mid-to-late stage trial of its COVID-19 drug candidate in August, as drugmakers across the globe rush to find treatments for the highly infectious virus.

The company’s therapy candidate, VIR-7831, is a monoclonal antibody that binds itself to the SARS-CoV-2 live virus and neutralizes it.

Vir Biotech expects initial clinical data from the study to be available before the end of 2020.

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccine for COVID-19, which has infected more than 20 million and killed at least 736,577, according to a Reuters tally.

Gilead Sciences Inc on Monday filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking full approval for remdesivir, its experimental COVID-19 drug.

Vir Biotech has two other COVID-19 antibody candidates in development, VIR-2703 and VIR-7832, and expects to start human clinical trials for both later this year.

The company received a $250 million investment from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc in March as part of a collaboration to develop antibody treatments for COVID-19. (Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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