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Alnylam, Vir Biotech Deprioritize COVID-19 Drug Development In Hushed Manner

Last week, Vir Biotechnology Inc’s (NASDAQ: VIR) and its collaborating partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE: 

· 03/17/2021 11:47

Last week, Vir Biotechnology Inc’s (NASDAQ: VIR) and its collaborating partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE: GSKannounced interim Phase 3 data from COVID-19 antibody therapy, named VIR-7831 (GSK4182136).

  • The therapy demonstrated an 85% reduction in hospitalization or death in the VIR-7831 arm than the placebo. After the robust results, an independent committee recommended stopping the enrollment.
  • But note that VIR-7831 is not VIR’s only effort against COVID-19.
  • Last year in May, the company signed a deal with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ALNY) to co-develop an inhalable siRNA drug (VIR-2703) for the potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
  • Though IND submission was expected in late 2020, at some point in the past couple of weeks, VIR removed the VIR-2703 from their pipeline online, writes an editor on Endpoints News.
  • According to Alnylam spokesperson, the drug candidate showed “some evidence of efficacy” in the lab, but it was insufficient to bring the program into the human trials phase.
  • “We now have preclinical data showing some evidence of efficacy, however, we plan to collect some additional preclinical data relative to current and emerging therapies,” they said. “We will guide on timelines to an IND at a future date after making more progress with our animal studies.”
  • VIR spokesperson said they would continue to develop the drug but that it was not their primary focus.
  • Price Action: ALNY and VIR shares are trading 0.88% and 1.42% higher at $145.05 and $53.75 in market trading hours on the last check Wednesday.