US biopharmaceutical company claims to have discovered an antibody that could shield the human body from the coronavirus and flush it out of a person’s system within four days. This is reported by Fox News.
Sorrento Therapeutics will announce their discovery of the STI-1499 antibody, which the San Diego company said can provide "100% inhibition" of COVID-19, adding that a treatment could be available months before a vaccine hits the market.
"We want to emphasize there is a cure. There is a solution that works 100 percent," Dr. Henry Ji, founder, and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics, told Fox News. "If we have the neutralizing antibody in your body, you don't need the social distancing. You can open up a society without fear."
Officials for Sorrento Therapeutics believe they have found the key to a successful treatment.
Through their studies, Sorrento screened and tested billions of antibodies they have collected over the past decade. They say this made it possible to identify hundreds of potential antibody candidates that could successfully bind themselves to the spike proteins of the coronavirus. They found that a dozen of these antibodies demonstrated the ability to block the spike proteins from attaching itself to the human enzyme ACE2, which is the receptor a virus normally uses to enter human cells.
Through further testing, the researchers at Sorrento found that there was one particular antibody that showed to be 100 percent effective in blocking COVID-19 from infecting healthy cells.
"When the antibody prevents a virus from entering a human cell, the virus cannot survive," Dr. Ji said. "If they cannot get into the cell, they cannot replicate. So it means that if we prevent the virus from getting the cell, the virus eventually dies out. The body clears out that virus."
"This puts its arms around the virus. It wraps around the virus and moves them out of the body."
Dr. Ji pointed out that the antibody can be used as preventative therapy since there are no side effects, and that it can be more effective than any vaccine that may be developed.
"This is the best solution," he said. "The point of making a vaccine is to generalize a neutralizing antibody. So, if you already have one, you don't need the body to generate one from a vaccine. You've already provided it. You're cutting out the middleman."
It was recently announced Sorrento had partnered with the New York-based health care system Mount Sinai to develop an antibody cocktail. Dubbed Covi-Shield, the cocktail will be comprised of three different antibodies and, pending FDA approval, will be used as a prophylactic treatment for people returning to work and those who have been exposed to COVID-19.