‘There Is Now A Cure’: Scientists Have Discovered an Antibody They Claim Blocks Coronavirus Infections Effectively
8Experiments involving blood plasma from recovered patients are being used to develop the cocktail of antibodies
Blood plasma from recovered patients presumably containing antibodies are being used in clinical trials to treat people who are still infected with and suffering from the virus. Over the past decade, Sorrento had collected a library of billions of antibodies. Now, these are being systematically screened to find out if they can potentially be used to develop a cure for the coronavirus.
About a dozen antibodies which had some effect on the virus were identified by their scientists. Experiments have been conducted with these antibodies being laid in pans to create a cocktail of multiple antibodies. In case the virus mutates and becomes immune to one of the antibodies, the others can provide some sort of back-up protection and resistance against it.
9The ‘first’ candidate antibody to now be part of the antibody cocktail is STI-1499
Dr. Ji said: “Our STI-1499 antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. 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.”
Since Friday, over 1.46 million Americans had the coronavirus while more than 87,000 died of the virus. Sorrento has stated that they have been reaching to potential manufacturing partners in the US and have even requested government support. In their statement, they are hoping to make ‘tens of millions of doses in a short period of time to meet the vast projected demand’.
10The process of producing antibodies poses many challenges
No doubt, that producing antibodies is a rather complex process requiring close monitoring for contamination and other issues. However, Sorrento hasn’t yet specified any start date or any plans for clinical human trials. Furthermore, the FDA is currently investigating Sorrento’s use of antibody-rich plasma for treating coronavirus and is yet to approve it.
As such there is still no proven cure for coronavirus. But, Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir had shown some slim but promising benefits for survival and recovery in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study. This drug received emergency FDA approval earlier this month.