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Vir Biotech (VIR) Begins Dosing in Phase II Hepatitis B Study

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Vir Biotechnology, Inc. VIR announced that it has dosed the first patient in the phase II MARCH study which is evaluating VIR-2218 in combination with VIR-3434 for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (“HBV”) infection. The combination of VIR-2218 plus VIR-3434 is being developed to achieve a functional cure for the given indication.

The open-label, multi-center study will evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the combination of VIR-2218 + VIR-3434 in patients aged 18 to 65 years with chronic HBV infection, who are receiving nucleot(s)ide reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy.

The primary endpoints of the study are to check the proportion of patients with treatment-emergent adverse/serious adverse events, grading of post-treatment clinical laboratory parameters and the proportion of patients achieving a functional cure.

Shares of Vir Biotechnology have rallied 35.5% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 4%.

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Per the company, VIR-2218, an investigational siRNA, is designed to inhibit the production of all HBV proteins, while VIR-3434 is an investigational HBV-neutralizing monoclonal antibody designed to block the entry of all 10 genotypes of HBV into hepatocytes, as well as reduce the level of virions and subviral particles in blood.

Vir Biotechnology has been actively seeking partnerships to develop therapeutic antibody treatments for various respiratory viruses and other infections.

We remind investors that Vir Biotechnology has a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline GSK for developing therapeutic antibody treatments for COVID-19 infection. In May 2021, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) to their dual-action monoclonal antibody sotrovimab (previously VIR-7831) for high-risk COVID-19.

The EUA is for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients (at least 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kg) who are at risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. A formal biologics license application for sotrovimab to the FDA is expected to be filed in the second half of 2021.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Vir Biotechnology currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Top-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Repligen Corporation RGEN and Bio-Techne Corporation TECH, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Repligen’s earnings estimates have been revised 2.2% and 1.2% upward for 2021 and 2022, respectively, over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 2.9% year to date.

Bio-Techne’s earnings estimates have been revised 2.3% and 4% upward for 2021 and 2022, respectively, over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 41.6% year to date.

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BioTechne Corp (TECH) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (VIR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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