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A new gene therapy player debuts in LA with 2 startup VCs at its back, AbbVie on board with a $90M cash upfront and big plans to upend the field

The FDA has authorized the Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment from Vir and GlaxoSmithKline, adding another potent treatment option as the pandemic continues to rage in many corners of the world and as new variants threaten to render one of two rival approaches obsolete.

The EUA comes after Vir’s antibody proved 85% effective at preventing hospitalization in high-risk, newly diagnosed Covid-19 patients — numbers that rival or exceed those posted in pivotal trials by the antibody combos from Regeneron and Eli Lilly. Lilly’s combo, though, has already been taken out of use in two states, Illinois and Massachusetts, as it proved ineffective again a new variant. On Wednesday, it was paused in six other states: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Oregon and Washington.

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