What happened

Shares of Vir Biotechnology (VIR -1.36%) surged 32% on Tuesday after the immunology company announced promising clinical trial results for its COVID-19 antibody treatment. 

So what 

Vir and its partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK 0.12%) said an independent data monitoring committee recommended that they stop their phase 3 study of VIR-7831 early, as the experimental therapy demonstrated "profound efficacy."

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping digital chart.

Investors bid up Vir Biotechnology's stock price on Thursday. Image source: Getty Images.

An interim analysis of the trial showed VIR-7831 reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 85% in patients compared to a placebo. The treatment was also well-tolerated among the study's 583 participants.

Better still, Vir and GlaxoSmithKline said results from another study suggest VIR-7831 could be effective against new coronavirus mutations, including the U.K., South African, and Brazilian variants.

Now what

Based on these positive results, Vir and GlaxoSmithKline intend to request Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for VIR-7831 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other international regulators.

"We are pleased that this unique monoclonal antibody was able to bring such a profound benefit to patients," GlaxoSmithKline chief scientific officer Dr. Hal Barron said. "We look forward to the possibility of making VIR-7831 available to patients as soon as possible."