The European Union has agreed to buy up to 220,000 treatments of GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab against COVID-19 from GlaxoSmithKline.
The medicine, which is being developed in collaboration with Vir Biotechnology in the United States, can be used to treat high-risk coronavirus patients who have minor symptoms and do not need supplemental oxygen.
The agreement gives GSK a boost in its efforts to develop COVID-19 medicines after the company only had a minor part in vaccine development. Rather than developing its own coronavirus vaccine, GSK has focused on supplying its booster to other companies and collaborating with Sanofi on a vaccine.
In a statement released on Wednesday, GSK acknowledged the agreement, calling it “a crucial step forward for treating COVID-19 cases in Europe.” The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is now conducting a rolling review of the medicine.
The contract has been signed by 16 of the EU’s 27 member states, who will only be able to purchase the drug if it has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or national drug regulators.