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A Biotech Company Claims They Found a COVID-19 Antibody Treatment that Blocks 100% of Infections

  • Sorrento Therapeutics says that it has discovered an antibody that appears to be able to fully block the virus from infecting healthy cells.
  • “Covi-Shield” will likely be the first antibody used in a treatment that people could take to provide temporary protection from COVID-19.
  • It could be a critical step in making it possible for everyone to safely return to work while the world waits for a vaccine to become available.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

Sorrento Therapeutics, a small biotech company on a race to create an antibody treatment for COVID-19 infections, says that it has discovered an antibody that appears to be able to fully block the virus from infecting healthy cells that could help bridge the gap until a vaccine becomes available.

After screening billions of antibodies—the proteins that the immune system uses to neutralize disease—the company found hundreds of potential candidates that can bind to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

A dozen of these antibodies were found to block the virus from entering healthy cells. But one antibody in particular, which the company calls STI-1499, was particularly successful in early tests in the lab. “STI-1499 completely neutralized the virus infectivity at a very low antibody dose, making it a prime candidate for further testing and development,” Sorrento Therapeutics said in the announcement.

That means, “Covi-Shield” as the company calls it, will likely be the first antibody used in a treatment that people could take to provide temporary protection from COVID-19. Each dose could potentially protect someone for as long as two months, and then they could get another shot.

It could be a critical step in making it possible for everyone to safely return to work while the world waits for a vaccine to become available. Before this announcement, the company said it hoped to commence trials in humans by the summer.

“This treatment will instantly give people protection and therefore open the economy as soon as it is approved by the FDA,” Sorrento CEO Henry Ji said. The company plans to develop a cocktail of three antibodies to help account for the fact that the virus may mutate, although STI-1499 could also potentially be used on its own, and Sorrento plans to also produce a separate treatment.

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