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The drug giant GlaxoSmithKline said Monday it will collaborate with Vir Biotechnology on experimental treatments and potentially, vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

As part of the deal, GlaxoSmithKline will invest $250 million in the San Francisco startup at a 10% premium to the company’s closing share price on March 27.


The agreement includes Vir’s lead drugs against the novel coronavirus, which are monoclonal antibodies that could enter efficacy studies in humans in three to five months. The deal includes an early effort to use CRISPR, the gene-editing technology, to identify medicines that might help the immune system fight off viruses. The collaboration also encompasses a long-term project to develop a vaccine that might prevent infection not only with the virus, called SARS-CoV-2, but related viruses that could cause problems in the future.

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  • It is great that Glaxo is doing this. Hopefully until this is completed we will continue to use plasma containing SARS-COV2 globulin antibodies from recovered patients to infuse into seriously ill Covid19 patients to help boost their chances of recovery. The FDA approved Red Cross to collect, type and bank plasma from recovered Covid19 patients to use for plasma infusion. This is being done in trials at a number of US hospitals with some success already. There is also a series of trials being conducted using Heparin and N-Acetylcysteine to alleviate lung dysfunction in serious Covid19 patients. These drugs have been used successfully to help patients with Cystic Fibrocis, Pneumonic Plague and other lung aliments. Hopefully they will help get Covid19 off intubation with positive pressure ventilation.

  • After transmission, it can take several days for the body to produce antibodies to a virus. That makes serological tests less useful than viral RNA tests for diagnosing someone with COVID-19.
    Does anyone considering wearing a mask?

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