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GSK stock underwhelmed by Omicron drug news

By Jenni Reid

10:15, 2 December 2021

Exterior of the GlaxoSmithKline offices in London
GlaxoSmithKline today said its new Covid antibody treatment was effective against the variant in early trials – Photo: Tim Gainey / Alamy Stock Photo

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) got a boost in early Thursday trading after the British pharma giant said its antibody-based Covid-19 treatment sotrovimab was effective against the Omicron variant in early trials. 

GSK stock initially rose 0.7% to 1,552.80, but by 10:10 GMT was down 0.45% to 1,534.20 on the London Stock Exchange.

The FTSE 100 firm is up 11.5% in the year to date as it has increased sales and R&D investment, though its operating profit has fallen 21% year on year in the first nine months. 

The latest announcement came on the same day that UK medical regulators approved sotrovimab, sold under the trade name Xevudy, for use in people with a mild to moderate Covid infection and at least one risk factor.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said it had been found to cut hospitalisation and death by 79%. 


0.63 Price
-0.310% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168


41,777.25 Price
+4.680% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00


2,029.10 Price
-2.220% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0200%
Short position overnight fee 0.0118%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.50


15,797.90 Price
-1.250% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.8

Omicron scare

GSK, which is developing the treatment with US-based Vir Biotechnology (VIR), said sotrovimab had demonstrated “ongoing activity against all tested variants of concern and interest defined by the World Health Organization”.

“Though early, pre-clinical data support our long-held view on the potential for sotrovimab to maintain its activity as the virus continues to mutate,” said GSK chief scientific officer Hal Barron. 

It is administered via intravenous infusion for 30 minutes and is the second monoclonal antibody therapeutic to be approved in the UK.

Global markets have begun to quell their jitters over the potential impact of Omicron, after the World Health Organization stated the variant was less severe than initially speculated.

Read more: The Omicron effect: What’s next for global stock markets?

Markets in this article

14.560 USD
0 0.000%
89.89 USD
-0.23 -0.260%
Vir Biotechnology
9.64 USD
-0.14 -1.450%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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