Waking up to the news has one encouraging note, another new day and another new drug is being tested. According to an article in Biospace, the news from Sorrento Therapeutics has double the significance with STI-2020 and STI-1499 neutralizing antibodies exhibiting protection against the SARS-CoV-2 infection in a Syrian golden hamster model.
SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for coronavirus. The disease caused by the virus is called COVID-19. This article refers to the virus itself, and it is therefore referred to as SARS-CoV-2.
The two antibodies were tested on golden hamsters in pre-clinical studies. Both STI-2020 and STI-1499 acted against SARS-CoV-2 isolates (same strain) showing substantial neutralizing activity.
Note: a better description of an isolate would be when SARS-CoV-2 is isolated from a COVID-19 patient.
A preprint publication can be found at https://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/2020.09.27.316174v1
About the Process
On the fifth day of treatment STI-2020 (COVI-AMG™) reduced evidence of the SARS virus 100% in animals (5 out of 5) that were tested. As a comparison, the researchers found 1000 viral particles per gram of tissue in the control group.
STI-1499 (COVI-GUARD™) performed almost as well by reducing the level of detection below sixty percent in animal models. There was a ten-fold reduction in the remaining forty percent of the animals tested.
These tests establish COVI-AMG (STI-2020) as a potentially rapid and simplified injection to treat COVID-19 patients. When comparing STI-2020 against other currently-used regimens treating COVID-19, the drug appears to be highly potent at a very low dose.
The neutralizing activity of these agents provided protection against not only SARS-CoV-2 but also against the Spike D614G isolate which is highly contagious. Neutralizing antibodies protect a cell from infections.
An Introduction to Sorrento Therapeutics
Sorrento Therapeutics is focused on the development of novel therapies to fight cancer. Sorrento’s pipeline includes a wide array of immuno-oncology platforms. Its assets include human antibodies and immuno-cellular therapies.
Also listed are antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) which are antibodies that are chemically linked to a drug. The antibody binds to receptors on cells, including cancer cells. The drug enters the cells and kills them, avoiding non-cancerous cells.
In addition to the fight against cancer, Sorreto is centered in the antiviral therapy arena developing therapies and vaccines targeted against coronaviruses.