Positive results for Vir Biotechnology and GSK’s monotherapy treatment of adults with COVID-19  

Positive results for Vir Biotechnology and GSK’s monotherapy treatment of adults with COVID-19  

Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have announced evidence of profound efficacy from a trial evaluating VIR-7831 as monotherapy for the early treatment of COVID-19 in adults at high risk of hospitalisation.

Following the results, an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommended that the Phase 3 COMET-ICE (COVID-19 Monoclonal antibody Efficacy Trial – Intent to Care Early) trial be stopped for enrolment.

The IDMC recommendation was based on an interim analysis of data from 583 patients enrolled in the COMET-ICE trial, which demonstrated an 85% (p=0.002) reduction in hospitalisation or death in patients receiving VIR-7831 as monotherapy compared to placebo, the primary endpoint of the trial. VIR-7831 was well tolerated. As the trial remains ongoing and blinded with patients continuing to be followed for 24 weeks, additional results, including epidemiology and virology data, will be forthcoming once the trial is completed.

Based on these results, Vir and GSK plan to submit an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and for authorisations in other countries. Data from this registrational trial will also form the basis for a Biologics License Application (BLA) submission to the FDA.

The companies also announced the results of a new study submitted and pending online publication in bioRxiv, demonstrating that VIR-7831 maintains activity against current circulating variants of concern including the UK, South African and Brazilian variants, based on in vitro data from pseudotyped virus assays. In contrast to other monoclonal antibodies, VIR-7831 binds to a highly conserved epitope of the spike protein, which may make it more difficult for resistance to develop.

The Phase 3 portion of the COMET-ICE trial assessed the safety and efficacy of a single intravenous infusion of VIR-7831 (500 mg) or placebo in non-hospitalised participants globally, and this interim analysis included 291 patients in the treatment arm and 292 patients in the placebo arm. The primary efficacy endpoint is the proportion of patients who have progression of COVID-19 as defined by the need for hospitalisation for at least 24 hours or death within 29 days of randomisation. Among those studied, 63% were Hispanic or Latinx and 7% were Black or African American. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention these populations are approximately three times more likely to be hospitalisedand approximately two times more likely to die2 of COVID-19.

VIR-7831 is also being evaluated in the outpatient setting in BLAZE-4, a Phase 2 trial sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, designed to assess the safety and efficacy of Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) alone and bamlanivimab with other neutralising antibodies, including VIR-7831, versus placebo in low-risk adults with mild to moderate COVID-19.

Additionally, VIR-7831, along with VIR-7832, will be evaluated in the Phase 1b/2a National Health Service-supported AGILE trial in adults with mild to moderate COVID-19. VIR-7832 is the second monoclonal antibody from the Vir-GSK collaboration to be investigated as a potential COVID-19 treatment.

Dr. Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President R&D, GSK said: “We are pleased that this unique monoclonal antibody was able to bring such a profound benefit to patients. We look forward to the possibility of making VIR-7831 available to patients as soon as possible and to further exploring its potential in other settings.”

[1] Data source: COVID-NET (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covid-net/purpose-methods.html, accessed March 1, 2020, through January 30, 2021). Numbers are ratios of age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2019 US standard COVID-NET catchment population.

[2] Data source: NCHS provisional death counts (https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Deaths-involving-coronavirus-disease-2019-COVID-19/ks3g-spdg, data through January 30, 2021). Numbers are ratios of age-adjusted rates standardized to the 2019 US intercensal population estimate.