In early December 2021, GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) and its partner Vir Biotechnology (NSDQ:VIR) announced that their COVID-19 antibody therapy sotrovimab appeared to retain efficacy against the omicron variant.
Now, demand for sotrovimab is eclipsing supplies of the drug as omicron has fueled a record number of infections in the U.S. and elsewhere.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Glaxo and Vir are moving to get another manufacturing plant on line to ramp up the production of the drug, which is currently produced in a single facility.
The U.S. has ordered 600,000 doses of the drug for $945.1 million for the first quarter of the year.
Other countries, including Australia and Canada, are also seeking to procure more of the drug.
GSK and Vir expect to sell 1.7 million doses internationally through binding agreements.
This week, WHO revised their COVID-19 therapeutics guidelines, adding sotrovimab to a list of “conditionally recommended” drugs for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients facing a high risk of hospitalization.
Competing COVID-19 antibodies from Lilly and Regeneron have diminished protection against the omicron variant.