On May 16, Sorrento Therapeutics, a Us-based company, proclaimed the discovery of an antibody that has the ability to completely block SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, from infecting healthy cells after laboratory experiments.
SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic, which reportedly originated in Wuhan China.
On Friday, results of the preclinical experiment showed that STI-1499, Sorrento's anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, only needed to be administered at a very low dose in order to thoroughly neutralize the virus' infectivity. Thus, it became a top candidate for additional testing and development.
According to an antibody-centric biopharmaceutical company in San Diego, California, initial biochemical and biophysical analysis indicate that STI-1499 as a strong antibody candidate.
In a statement by Henry Jo, Chairman, and CEO of Sorrento, he noted that the STI-1499 antibody showed extraordinary therapeutic potential and may possibly have the ability to save lives after necessary regulatory approvals are received.
Sorrento claimed that they are working around the clock to complete the steps needed to get their candidate product approved and be readily available to the public.
Sorrento heads in generating an antibody cocktail product which could be a protective shield against the new coronavirus infection and stay effective even if the virus mutates and could lessen the effectivity of single antibody therapy.
Billions of antibodies have been screened by the company and they have determined hundreds of antibodies that have the ability to bind S1 subunit of the new coronavirus spike protein.
According to Sorrento, about a dozen of these antibodies have established the ability to block the S1 protein's interaction with human angiotensin which converts enzyme 2(ACE2), used as a receptor for viral entrance into human cells.
These antibodies were tested in an in vitro SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection model in harmony to an agreement of preclinical testing for new coronavirus drug candidates announced on March 31.
STI-1499, among all antibodies which have shown the neutralizing activity, protruded because the experiment showed it has the ability to perfectly block SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection of healthy cells.
Sorrento noted STI-1499 will probably be the first-ever antibody in the concoction that the company is cultivating. COVID-SHIELD is intended to address this through a concentrated mixture of different antibodies which could protect against the different strains of the new coronavirus, but the Sorrento claims it will also pursue in cultivating the STI-1499 antibody as a stand-alone therapy.
The company discusses with regulators regarding the expedition of the development of the treatment, increasing the production capacity, the aim to produce about a million doses, and seeking the approval of FDA for its use.
Moreover, the company seeks support from the government and pharmaceutical companies working in partnership with the latter in scaling up the manufacturing capacity of STI-1499 with the aim of producing tens of millions of doses in a short period of time and meet the large projected demand.
It is worth admonishing that no such vaccine or treatment can be a fast cure to the new coronavirus, but the discovery of this antibody is a promising development, and one must follow as it passes through clinical trials, regulatory processes, and therapeutic development.