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Another San Diego company seeks FDA approval for COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 21:25:28-04

SORRENTO VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) - Another San Diego-based company is moving forward on developing a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Sorrento Therapeutics is working on several projects that they believe could lead to viable vaccines or treatments.

One of them was announced on Monday.

Sorrento Therapeutics said it was partnering with Boston-based Smartpharm to create a gene-encoded antibody vaccine.

“In the effort to more quickly resolve the global COVID-19 crisis, our company has initiated a rapidly accelerated program for the identification of potent neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigens that may be used for either treatment or prophylaxis,” said Henry Ji, CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics.

Sorrento Therapeutics is also working on another vaccine called the I-Cell project. That vaccine uses a decoy virus to activate a person’s immune system to train it to attack the real virus.

It’s also developing a protein called COVIDTRAP that can bind to the receptors on the coronavirus, thus blocking it from being able to bind to the receptors on healthy human cells. If proven succesful, it could be used as a treatment or preventative measure.

How long will it take for them to be ready?

“That all depends on what leeway the FDA gives us,” said Mark Brunswick, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Sorrento Therapeutics.

If they can get fast tracked, he estimates they can start clinical trials in 2 months, as opposed to 9-12 months normally.