Investigative Antibody Completely Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Infection

May 15, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

An antibody candidate from Sorrento has shown complete blockage of infection in early assessments. The company is now pursuing production and regulatory aid.

An investigative antibody for SARS-CoV-2 has reported 100% inhibition of viral infection during an in vitro experiment conducted at a low antibody concentration.

Sorrento Therapeutics announced Friday its anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody STI-1499 completely neutralized virus infectivity at a very low antibody dose, indicating its candidacy for further assessment and development by the San Diego-based drug maker.

STI-1499 will be the first antibody developed by the company, as it pursues an antibody cocktail product that would potentially shield patients from SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection—regardless of viral mutations or failed antibody therapy effectiveness over time.

In response to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Sorrento has been screening billions of collected antibodies in its proprietary G-MAB fully human antibody library to identify eligible candidates for its cocktail product. Approximately one dozen thus far have demonstrated inhibition of the S1 protein’s interaction with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).

As this is the receptor used for viral entrance into human cells, these blocking antibodies are among the first assessed candidates for SARS-CoV-2 virus infection inhibition in the in vitro virus infection model.

Sorrento now plans to request priority evaluation and accelerated pathway review from regulators to make a potential therapy available as soon as possible. Their antibody manufacturing facility is capable of producing 200,000-plus doses monthly, and the company intends to produce 1,000,000 doses while seeking US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for any STI-1499 product candidate.

"Our STI-1499 antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals,” Henry Ji, PhD, chairman and chief executive officer of Sorrento, said in a statement. “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.”