‘There Is Now A Cure’: Scientists Have Discovered an Antibody They Claim Blocks Coronavirus Infections Effectively
Sorrento Therapeutics, based in San Diego, California claims that its STI-1499 antibody has been successful in stopping the coronavirus from entering 100% of healthy human cells. The STI-1499 is one of several antibodies that are part of the planned combination of drug ‘cocktails’. Sorrento has been collaborating with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine New York to develop these drugs. Sorrento claimed at a press release that it could produce around 200,000 doses of this antibody every month. Given this production timeline, the drug will probably be available sooner than a COVID-19 vaccine is expected.
1Sorrento is seeking the FDA’s approval to go forward in making this antibody available
In light of this new discovery, the company has already filed for emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are yet to receive the green light. With this announcement, stocks for Sorrento soared by nearly 220%.
“We want to emphasize there is a cure”, said Dr. Henry Ji, Sorrento’s CEO. “There is a solution that works 100%. If we have the neutralizing antibody in your body, you don’t need the social distancing. You can open up a society without fear.
2Is this new antibody actually effective?
While this may seem promising, its effectiveness against the virus has only been lab-tested in Petri dishes containing human cells. So, the company cannot say for sure that it has blocked the infection in the human body.
Since this experimental antibody hasn’t undergone human testing yet, it is unclear how it may work inside our bodies or if it will have any potential side effects.
The announcement of this new drug came the very same that the Trump administration announced their decision to relax the social distancing guidelines and lift lockdown restrictions. Experts warn that this move can trigger a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections.
3What exactly is this new antibody and how does it work?
Sorrento discovered that it’s STI-1499 antibody which is actually immune cells that neutralize pathogens seemed to have an effect in combating the coronavirus. It was one of its dozen antibodies being developed as a drug cocktail.