FDA Suspends Vir’s Sotrovimab; Shares Drop
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FDA Suspends Vir’s Sotrovimab; Shares Drop

Shares of the commercial-stage immunology company Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ: VIR) closed 11.5% lower on Tuesday following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) suspension of the use of sotrovimab for the treatment of COVID-19 in any U.S. state or territory. 

Sotrovimab is the investigational SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibody, jointly developed by Vir and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK). 

The U.S. regulator’s decision was based on the data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It demonstrated that the authorized dose of sotrovimab is not expected to neutralize the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant, which represents over 50% of all COVID-19 cases at present. 

Consequently, Vir and GlaxoSmithKline are working to release data which will support a higher dose of sotrovimab for said subvariant. Once prepared, data will be shared with regulatory and health authorities globally. 

Nevertheless, about $1.1 billion of sotrovimab collaboration revenues are expected by Vir from the delivery of sotrovimab doses in the first half of 2022. 

Wall Street’s Take 

Recently, H.C. Wainwright analyst Patrick Trucchio reiterated a Buy rating and a price target of $200 (792.1% upside potential) on the stock. 

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on two Buys and two Holds.

The average Vir price target of $79.50 implies 254.6% upside potential to current levels. Shares have decreased 43% 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 and Regulatory, which contribute 20, 18, and 11 risks, respectively, to the total 67 risks identified for the stock. 

Given the already high-risk profile of the company, investors might want to be cautious before investing in this stock.

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