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New Antibodies Found

New Antibody Completely Neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

A team of researchers from Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. has isolated a new antibody that completely inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus virus in cell culture.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a VERO E6 cell (purple) exhibiting elongated cell projections and signs of apoptosis, after infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink), which were isolated from a patient sample. Image credit: NIAID.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a VERO E6 cell (purple) exhibiting elongated cell projections and signs of apoptosis, after infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink), which were isolated from a patient sample. Image credit: NIAID.

“Our antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals,” said Dr. Henry Ji, Chairman and CEO of Sorrento.

“We at Sorrento are working day and night to complete the steps necessary to get this product candidate approved and available to the waiting public.”

The scientists screened their library of human antibodies and identified hundreds of candidates that bind to the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

One dozen of these antibodies had the ability to block the S1 protein’s interaction with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor that acts as an entry point into human lung cells for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

These blocking antibodies were further tested for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in an in vitro infection model.

Among the antibodies showing neutralizing activity, one antibody stood out for its ability to completely block SARS-CoV-2 infection of healthy cells in the experiments.

Dubbed STI-1499, this antibody completely neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 infectivity at a very low antibody dose.

Biochemical and biophysical analyses also indicate STI-1499 is a potentially strong antibody drug candidate.

“STI-1499 will likely be the first antibody in the antibody cocktail Sorrento is developing,” the researchers said.

“This antibody is also expected to be developed as a stand-alone therapy because of the high potency it has exhibited in experiments to date.”

“Sorrento plans to request priority evaluation and accelerated review from regulators to determine the best pathway to make any potential treatment available as soon as possible.”

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