San Diego-based Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. announced Friday that it is partnering with Mount Sinai Health System in New York to develop an “antibody cocktail” to potentially treat COVID-19.
Mount Sinai says it has screened around 15,000 people for the potential presence of antibodies and will provide plasma containing antibodies to Sorrento “for the purpose of identification and production of monoclonal antibodies with potential neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2.”
“It is our belief that as we reopen the country and the economy, we will see local flare-ups of infectious spread of SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, with coronaviruses, mutations are part of the equation and could render therapies ineffective over time,” said Dr. Henry Ji, chairman and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics.
“It is our intention to develop a triple antibody prophylactic and therapeutic agent that would shield healthcare workers and at-risk patients,” he said. “This therapy is designed to be resistant to future virus mutations and, if approved (by the FDA), should be made available in support of testing, tracing, vaccination and other therapeutic approaches to allow for efficient management of viral infection by protecting those most at risk for up to two months at a time.”
Phase I trials of the “COVI-SHIELD” drug candidate are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020.
“We’re working with pharma and biotech partners, such as Sorrento, to bring much needed therapies to the clinic,” said Erik Lium, executive vice president and chief commercial innovation officer of Mount Sinai Health System. “We look forward to advancing the development of an effective antibody cocktail with Sorrento.”
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