Vir Biotechnology Soars on $250 Million GlaxoSmithKline Investment in Coronavirus Treatment

Vir Biotechnology soars after GlaxoSmithKline says it will invest $250 million in the biotech company.
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Shares of Vir Biotechnology  (VIR) - Get Report were soaring 30.5% to $37.85 Monday after GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get Report said it would invest $250 million in the biotech company and collaborate to develop potential antibody treatments for the coronavirus.

Citing the urgency of the pandemic, the companies said they have begun work while a clinical development and manufacturing agreement is being negotiated. 

The companies said they will go directly into a phase 2 clinical trial within the next three to five months, subject to regulatory review.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that multiple therapeutic approaches, used in combination or in sequence, will be necessary to stop this coronavirus pandemic. It is likely that the current coronavirus outbreak will not be the last," said George Scangos, CEO of San Francisco-based Vir Technology, in a statement. 

Drug companies are racing to come up with a treatment or a vaccine for the deadly disease. 

Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Report said Monday that it will accelerate production of its nascent coronavirus treatment and provide more than 1 million free doses to patients suffering severe symptoms of the deadly disease. 

Gilead said it will provide around 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, which could be used to help some 140,000 patients, at no charge to hospitals and clinics and will ramp up production to be able to treat 500,000 patients by October.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report began testing its vaccine candidate in people last month and signed deals with the U.S. government in March to produce massive quantities of coronavirus vaccines.

The company said in a regulatory filing that Chief Executive Stephan Bancel told Goldman Sachs on Friday that its potential coronavirus drug, mRNA-1273, could be available to emergency workers by this fall. Moderna is developing the vaccine in cooperation with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Shares of GlaxoSmithKline were climbing 2.1% to $37.92.