‘There is a cure’: California biotech company claims it has discovered an antibody that can block ‘100%’ of coronavirus infections
- Sorrento Therapeutics of California is set to announce that it has discovered an antibody that can completely block coronavirus
- Scientists with the company are calling it a ‘cure’ and say the antibody could be used to make a treatment months before a vaccine is available
- Up to 200,000 doses could be made a month while Sorrento awaits FDA approval for the drug
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Scientists at a California biotech company have found an antibody that completely blocks coronavirus in a discovery they called a ‘cure,’ Fox News reported.
Sorrento Therapeutics, based in San Diego, claims its STI-1499 antibody stopped coronavirus from entering 100 percent of healthy human cells in petri dish experiments.
It’s one of several antibodies planned to be combined for a drug ‘cocktail’ Sorrento is developing in collaboration with Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
In a press release, Sorrento said it could produce up to 200,000 doses of the antibody a month – a production timeline that would likely make the drug available months sooner than a COVID-19 vaccine is expected.
The company has filed for emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has not yet received the green light.
Stocks for Sorrento soared by nearly 220 percent on the heels of the announcement.
Scientists at a California biotech company say they’ve discovered an antibody that can ‘100%’ block the coronavirus from entering human cells – and they’re claiming it’s a ‘cure’
‘We want to emphasize there is a cure,’ Sorrento’s CEO, Dr Henry Ji, told Fox.
‘There is a solution that works 100 percent.
‘If we have the neutralizing antibody in your body, you don’t need the social distancing. You can open up a society without fear.’
It comes the same day that the Trump administration’s social distancing guidelines to slow the spread are expiring, and as many states begin to reopen despite expert warnings that relaxing restrictions may trigger a devastating second wave of infections.
Sorrento’s drug, dubbed STI-1499 is one about a dozen antibodies – immune cells that neutralize pathogens like coronavirus – that the company discovered had some effect on coronavirus.
A cocktail of antibodies could act like a ‘protective shield’ for human cells, preventing the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 – from entering them.
It blocks the virus from its primary doorway, a receptor on the surface of human cells, the ACE2 receptor.
‘This puts its arms around the virus. It wraps around the virus and moves them out of the body,’ Dr Ji told Fox of what his company has seen in lab experiments.
‘When the antibody prevents a virus from entering a human cell, the virus cannot survive.
‘If they cannot get into the cell, they cannot replicate. So it means that if we prevent the virus from getting the cell, the virus eventually dies out. The body clears out that virus.’