Italy Approves GSK-Vir Antibody to Treat COVID-19

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy approved the temporary distribution of a coronavirus antibody treatment by Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline and U.S. company Vir Biotechnology, the health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The therapy, named Sotrovimab, can be distributed until Jan. 31, 2022, it said, adding the authorisations for all the other monoclonal treatments already in use in the country had also been extended to the same date.

Antibody treatments are designed to decrease the severity of COVID-19 among patients diagnosed with the infection.

Rome has approved monoclonal antibody therapies from Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

At the end of May, the European Union’s drug regulator backed the use of Sotrovimab to treat patients who are at risk of severe disease and do not need supplemental oxygen above the age of 12.

It is up to individual member states to decide whether to use it.

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