U.S. Government to Purchase 600,000 Additional Doses of Sotrovimab; Shares Jump

This article was originally published on TipRanks.com

GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIR) have disclosed that the U.S. government will purchase an additional 600,000 doses of sotrovimab, making them more accessible nationwide. The vaccines will be delivered throughout the first quarter of 2022.

Following the news, shares of Vir Biotechnology spiked 4% to close at $34.77 on Tuesday.

Sotrovimab is the investigational SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibody for the early treatment of COVID-19. It was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2021. It can be used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (aged 12 years and older with a minimum weight of 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.

These additional doses bring the total number of binding agreements to 1.7 million doses worldwide. The U.S. government also has the option of buying further additional doses in the second quarter of 2022.

Official Comments

The CEO of Vir, George Scangos, said, “As the Omicron variant continues its rapid spread alongside the still prevalent Delta variant, we are pleased to once again work with the US government to provide more access to sotrovimab for people in the US at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19. Data from multiple pseudo-virus and live virus preclinical studies, generated by industry and academia, continue to demonstrate that sotrovimab retains activity against all tested variants of concern and interest.”

Wall Street’s Take

On December 21, Robert W. Baird analyst Joel Beatty downgraded Vir Biotechnology to a Sell from a Hold but maintained the price target of $36 (3.54% upside potential).

Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 2 Buys, 2 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Vir price target of $105.80 implies 204.29% upside potential to current levels. Shares have lost 2.2% over the past year.

Risk Analysis

According to the new TipRanks Risk Factors tool, Vir stock is at risk mainly from three factors: Tech and Innovation, Finance and Corporate, and Legal & Regulatory, which contribute 34%, 26%, and 16%, respectively, to the total 68 risks identified for the stock.

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