EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has started a ‘rolling review’ of data on sotrovimab (also known as VIR-7831 and GSK4182136), a monoclonal antibody developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. for the treatment of COVID-19.

The decision to start the rolling review is based on preliminary results from an ongoing study looking at the ability of the medicine to prevent hospitalisation or death in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19. However, EMA has not yet received the full dataset and it is too early to draw any conclusions regarding the benefit-risk balance of the medicine.

EMA has started evaluating the first batch of data, which come from laboratory and animal studies, in addition to data on the quality of the medicine.

EMA will evaluate all data on this medicine, including evidence from clinical trials, as they become available. The rolling review will continue until enough evidence is available to support a formal marketing authorisation application.

EMA will assess the medicine’s compliance with the usual EU standards for effectiveness, safety and quality. While the overall review timeline cannot be forecast yet, the process should be quicker than a regular evaluation due to the time gained during the rolling review.

A separate review of sotrovimab is already underway to provide EU-wide recommendations to support national authorities who may decide on the use of the medicine for COVID-19 prior to marketing authorisation.

How is the medicine expected to work?

Sotrovimab (also known as VIR-7831 and GSK4182136) is a monoclonal antibody with activity against COVID-19. A monoclonal antibody is a type of protein that attaches to a specific structure (called an antigen). Sotrovimab is designed to attach to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When it attaches to the spike protein, the ability of the virus to enter the body’s cells is reduced. This is expected to reduce the need for hospitalisation in patients with COVID-19.

Posted on the EMA website on 7 May 2021