Sotrovimab, a newly-developed monoclonal antibody therapy, has become the fifth medicine to treat Covid-19 cleared for emergency use in Brazil.
Developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology, the drug works by binding to the spike protein on the outside of the coronavirus. This is the same spike protein the body’s immune system is trained to recognize by mRNA-based vaccines, such as the one developed by Pfizer. By binding to the spike protein, sotrovimab can block the virus from attaching to and entering human cells. This stops the virus from replicating in the body.
Sotrovimab will be used on patients with mild and moderate cases of Covid-19, but who are at risk of symptoms progressing to severe cases.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued in May emergency use authorization for sotrovimab. In a Phase 3 trial of the drug, researchers found that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 79 percent.