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Will Adagio's COVID Antibody Therapy Be Too Late to the Party?

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Dec 4, 2021 at 7:52AM

Key Points

  • Adagio plans to file for U.S. EUA for its COVID-19 antibody therapy in Q2 of 2022.
  • The company will likely face competition from COVID-19 pills from Merck and Pfizer.
  • The dynamics of the COVID-19 market could be much different by the time Adagio could win EUA.

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It's quite possible.

Adagio Therapeutics (IVVD -9.55%) plans to file for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 antibody therapy in the second quarter of 2022. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Nov. 16, 2021, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss whether or not Adagio might be too late to the party with this regulatory filing.

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Keith Speights: Let's switch back to some more COVID-19 news, Brian. Adagio Therapeutics -- ticker there is ADGI, I think -- announced in its Q3 update recently that it plans to file for U.S. emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 antibody therapy, and they plan to do this submission in the second quarter of 2022.

Do you think Adagio might be too late to the party here?

Brian Orelli: Yes. Adagio has the advantage that its antibodies are injected and many of the current antibodies have to be infused. Obviously, if you can just walk in and get a shot, that's a lot better than having to sit there for 20, 30 minutes, an hour, while the infuser slowly adds the antibody to your bloodstream. That obviously exposes staff and other patients to somebody who has already tested positive for COVID-19.

But it's going to have to compete against the new oral medications. Merck (MRK -1.08%) and Pfizer (PFE -1.60%) have both shown positive clinical trial data and they'll probably get authorization before Adagio.

I have a hard time seeing what type of patient a doctor would prescribe an injection over a pill to, but the oral pills might be supply-constrained. There could be a market in the short term given that issue of supply constraints.

But in the long-term, I think that the pills are obviously going to be a lot easier for patients to take because they don't actually have to see the doctor. They can just get a test and if they test positive they can do a video visit to get a prescription, and then they can have their family member go pick up the prescription and get it delivered, and so they don't ever have to see the doctor whether positive for COVID-19. That's obviously a big advantage to the orals versus having to get injected.

Speights: I'm not sure if Adagio said whether they were going to try to file in the early part of Q2 next year or the latter part. But there's a good chance more than likely if it wins EUA would be, let's say third quarter, maybe sometime earlier in the second half of next year. The dynamics of the COVID-19 market could change quite a bit between now and then, right?

Orelli: Yeah. I guess we don't really know what the infection rates are going to be by the time this would get authorized, which should be possible in the second quarter, maybe even in the third quarter of 2022.

Speights: It'll be interesting to see what happens here, and so definitely something to keep your eyes on. Like you said, there could be short-term market opportunity for the company, the longer-term is the bigger question there.

Brian Orelli, PhD has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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