Covid-19 roundup: AstraZeneca publishes data on blood clots associated with vaccine; GlaxoSmithKline and Vir ink mAb supply deal with EU
Thirteen cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome in recipients of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have led to a number of countries pausing its authorization. On Wednesday, the UK drugmaker published correspondence in The Lancet showing that the estimated rate of TTS in patients who take their first dose of Vaxzevria is 8.1 per million, compared to 2.3 per million for those two weeks after the second dose.
EU regulators have been looking into TTS cases since March, and found a link between Vaxzevria and J&J’s vaccine. As a result, many governments have issued temporary holds on using the vaccine. In May, the EMA recommended against receiving a second AstraZeneca shot for people who report TTS after the first.
AstraZeneca said that 13 cases of TTS were identified after the second dose, occurring 1–13 days post-vaccination, including 8 individuals with pulmonary embolism, co-occurring with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in two individuals; one individual with CVST occurring alone; one individual with deep vein thrombosis; one individual with thrombotic stroke; and two individuals with unspecified embolisms.
Nearly 400 cases of TTS were reported after the first dose of the shot. — Josh Sullivan
GSK and Vir ink supply deal with EU
GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology have signed an agreement with the European Commission to supply up to 220,000 doses of sotrovimab, its single-dose mAb to treat Covid-19 patients ages 12 and up.
The joint procurement agreement allows the EU to quickly buy doses of the drug to treat patients. Sotrovimab is for patients who don’t need oxygen supplementation who are at risk of progressing to a more severe case of Covid-19.
In a statement, Vir CEO George Scangos said that it is clear that the world will need more treatment options to curb the pandemic. It has maintained success against variants of the virus, including Delta and Lambda, he said. The two companies reached a similar supply agreement in Singapore at the end of June.
The company plans to submit a biologics license application to the FDA in the second half of this year, following its EUA in May. Sotrovimab has also been granted emergency use authorization in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore and the UAE. — Zachary Brennan