The company announced the discovery of the STI-1499 antibody, which can provide 100% inhibition of COVID-19, and treatment may be available long before the antiviral vaccine arrives on the market.
“We want to emphasize that the drug is already there and it works 100 percent,” said Henry G., founder and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics, to Fox News. "If you have a neutralizing antibody in your body, you will no longer need social distance and you can live without fear."
It is clear that now there is an intensive search and development of effective vaccines and drugs for the treatment of coronavirus, since it is expected that the number of deaths associated with COVID-19 will reach 100,000 by June 1. At the same time, scientists are trying to create antibodies that can help patients before a vaccine is created.
True, certain problems arise along this path. Doctors take blood plasma from people who have undergone COVID-19 and transfuse it with critically ill patients. Since plasma is replete with antibodies, this approach is encouraging, experts say, but add that there is not enough plasma for everyone.
Scientists at Sorrento Therapeutics believe they have found the key to successful treatment. To do this, they tested and tested the billions of antibodies that they have collected over the past decade, and this has allowed them to identify hundreds of potential candidate antibodies that could successfully fight coronavirus proteins. Moreover, about ten of these antibodies have demonstrated the ability to block spike proteins of the coronavirus, with which it binds to the human ACE2 enzyme for subsequent penetration into human cells.
In further tests, the researchers discovered one specific antibody that 100% effectively blocks COVID-19 from infecting human cells.
“If the antibody prevents the virus from entering the human cell, the virus can no longer survive,” Dr. Ji explains. “Unable to penetrate the cell, he loses the ability to reproduce, and ultimately dies. The antibody, as it were, “hugs”, envelops the virus and removes it from the body. ”
Dr. Ji notes that the antibody can be used as a preventative therapy because it does not have side effects and can be more effective than any vaccine.
“This is the best solution,” he says. “The point of creating a vaccine is to generalize a neutralizing antibody. Therefore, if you already have such a substance, you do not need the body to produce it from a vaccine ... "
The researchers also stated that they could provide up to 200 thousand doses of their drug per month and hope to produce tens of millions more to fully satisfy the need for it. They recall that if the creation of a vaccine can take up to 18 months, then effective treatment with antibodies can become available in much less time and with a much higher degree of success. However, this will require the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.