COVID-19: 'There Is A Cure'! California Biotech Company Claims

18 Mai, 2020, 15:58 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a VERO E6 cell exhibiting elongated cell projections and signs of apoptosis after infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which were isolated from a patient sample. Image credit NIAID

Multiple news outlets are reporting that California-based biotech company Sorrento Therapeutics are claiming to have found a treatment that they're calling "a cure".

Sorrento has been diligently screening billions of antibodies in its proprietary G-MAB fully human antibody library and has so far identified hundreds of antibody candidates that bind the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein.

Approximately 12 of these antibodies have demonstrated the ability to block the S1 protein's interaction with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor used for viral entrance into human cells.

"What we're trying to achieve is to provide assurance to the public that you have something that's going to protect you, and protect you immediately", said Henry Ji, chairman and CEO of Sorrento.

The company claims that one of its antibodies, STI-1499, has shown "100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory tests".

Biochemical and biophysical analyses also indicate STI-1499 is a potentially strong antibody drug candidate. Executives at Sorrento Therapeutics announced the possible coronavirus antibody treatment on Friday, and say it could be more effective than a vaccine in quickly combating COVID-19.

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The scientists say the antibodies work by blocking the "primary doorway" for the virus to enter cells, according to The Daily Mail.

Last week, Sorrento announced that it was teaming up with Mount Sinai Health System to jointly develop an antibody cocktail called "COVI-SHIELD" to treat the coronavirus. "If they can not get into the cell, they can not replicate".

These are preferable to other types of antibodies which don't entirely block the virus's effects, and could accidentally make it easier for it to enter human cells.

The company plans to test STI-1499 on monkeys and possibly ferrets, two species that are susceptible to the novel coronavirus. So it means that if we prevent the virus from getting the cell, the virus eventually dies out.

Sorrento thinks STI-1499 could work both as a stand-alone treatment or as part of an antibody cocktail that targets three different parts of the virus. The company is already in discussion with regulators about how to expedite development of that potential treatment, and is ramping its production capacity as well with the goal of producing as many as one million doses at the same time it pursues FDA approval for its use. If testing on animals is successful, Sorrento Therapeutics could begin testing the antibody in clinical trials of severe COVID-19 patients by mid-July.

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