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.
“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.
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