SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - San Diego-based company Sorrento Therapeutics and Mount Sinai are collaborating on the further development of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic applications.
The antibodies should be able to fight any variant of coronavirus.
Related: San Diego's Sorrento Therapeutics says antibody shows ability to block COVID-19
Sorrento currently has treatments undergoing clinical trials that can be given in two different ways. The first way is through an IV, a process that takes 2-3 minutes. The second way is through drops in the nose, which ideally will be a simple tactic to use if a person tests positive.
“You go to CVS, pick it up, put a few drops in your nose and prevent the virus from replicating, gets injected into the lung and preventing you from spreading the virus,” said Henry Ji, Chairman and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics.
He said the antibody they have created is more potent, meaning they can make more doses. This will create more access to protection against the virus. It is also expected to only cost a few hundred dollars, which is a cheaper alternative than spending tens of thousands for an infusion in a hospital.
“So for the average person, it gives them hope, getting a diagnosis of COVID, if they haven’t been vaccinated or the vaccine did take, they now have additional options to prevent anything serious from happened,” said Mark Brunswick, Senior Vice President for Regulatory Affairs and Quality.
Ji said the part of their antibody that they’re most excited about is the fact that they believe it should fight against all known strains of the virus, including the UK strain, the South African strain, and the Japan/Brazil strain.
Their “vaxi-body,” which is a vaccine antibody, should not only treat people who have tested positive but also protect against any future exposures, similar to what current vaccines are doing. That prevention paired with the protection against all known strain is important moving forward as other variants have the possibility of becoming more prevalent, and also people need follow-up doses in the future.
“It’s definitely not a one-and-done vaccine and if this virus keeps on mutating, escaping all of the immunity you established, it’s going to be multi-years. That’s why the whole world, scientists are working on this to solve the problem,” said Ji.
Sorrento is currently putting these antibodies through trials with healthy volunteers and hopes to complete the trials by the end of 2021.