San Diego's Sorrento Therapeutics says antibody shows ability to block COVID-19

Posted at 1:17 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 21:25:39-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego-based Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. announced Friday that an antibody it is developing has shown an ability to block coronavirus infection of healthy cells in the laboratory.

STI-1499 is one of about a dozen antibody candidates the company says has demonstrated the ability to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells.

Sorrento Therapeutics said STI-1499 "completely neutralized the virus infectivity at a very low antibody dose, making it a prime candidate for further testing and development."

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The announcement came one week after the company said it was collaborating with Mount Sinai Health System to develop an "antibody cocktail" called COVI-SHIELD to potentially treat COVID-19.

Sorrento Therapeutics said STI-1499 would likely be the first antibody in COVI-SHIELD, though it is also expected to be developed as a stand-alone therapy.

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"Our STI-1499 antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals," said Dr. Henry Ji, Chairman and CEO of Sorrento. "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."