Doctors and special medical researchers from Mount Sinai Health System and the pharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics have joined forces to clone protective antibodies from coronavirus survivors and mass-produce the treatment, according to a Sorrento Therapeutics press release.
If all goes well, the "pharmaceutical cocktail" could be available by the end of the year, according to Futurism.
Doctors want to clone coronavirus survivors' antibodies for new treatment
The world needs a preventative treatment for the coronavirus, and doctors have enlisted thousands of coronavirus survivors, to clone their immune systems' antibodies and save countless people infected with the COVID-19 illness.
"We're working with pharma and biotech partners, such as Sorrento, to bring much needed therapies to the clinic," said Mount Sinai Health System's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Innovation Officer Erik Lium. "We look forward to advancing the development of an effective antibody cocktail with Sorrento."
Once given to an as-yet uninfected person, the antibodies might strengthen their immune system against the coronavirus, not unlike a vaccine. Sorrento CEO Henry Ji thinks the forthcoming treatment might protect patients for up to two full months — possibly better than a vaccine.
"A vaccine takes time to generate immunity and not everyone will respond to a vaccine, especially the elderly and immune-compromised patients," said Ji to Futurism. "A neutralizing antibody cocktail bypassed the need for a patient to respond to a vaccine and gives instant immunity upon injection."
COVID-19 treatment could be available this year
In partnership with Mount Sinai, Sorrento researchers will have access to 15,000 patients' blood samples, all of whom underwent coronavirus screening, courtesy of a diagnostic test developed by Florian Krammer, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai — following an emergency use authorization form the FDA.
Sorrentino aims to identify antibodies with the greatest ability to bolster immune systems against the COVID-19 coronavirus, and clone them.
"It is our belief that as we re-open the country and the economy, we will see local flare-ups of infectious spread of SARS-CoV-2," said Ji in the press release. "Unfortunately, with coronaviruses, mutations are part of the equation and could render therapies ineffective over time."
Clinical trials are expected to start on both uninfected and sick patients in the following months. Given acceptable results, Ji said his team could submit the experimental treatment to the FDA for approval by September 2020, with the "pharmaceutical cocktail" available by the year's end, according to Futurism.
"We anticipate that we will have the antibodies identified by the end of May and product ready for the clinic mid-July," he said to Futurism.
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