Sorrento Therapeutics has collaborated with Mount Sinai Health System to develop an antibody cocktail, COVI-SHIELD, for the potential treatment of Covid-19.

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai screened nearly 15,000 people who may have recovered from the novel coronavirus infection for the presence of anti-Covid-19 antibodies.

Sorrento will be able to access plasma containing anti-Covid-19 antibodies to identify and generate monoclonal antibodies that could potentially neutralise SARS-CoV-2 activity.

As part of the collaboration, Mount Sinai and Sorrento aim to develop antibodies that would be a ‘protective shield’ against Covid-19 by inhibiting and neutralising the virus’ activity in naïve at-risk populations, as well as recently infected patients.

Each COVI-SHIELD dose is expected to comprise a cocktail of three antibodies, which together could identify three different regions of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein.

Antibody cocktail therapy could prevent the development of treatment resistance. If approved, COVI-SHIELD will be given as a prophylactic for those individuals returning to work and as a therapeutic to people exposed to the virus.

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Each dose of the antibody cocktail may deliver antiviral protection for up to two months.

Sorrento Therapeutics chairman and CEO Dr Henry Ji said: “It is our intention to develop a triple antibody prophylactic and therapeutic agent that would shield healthcare workers and at-risk patients.

“This therapy is designed to be resistant to future virus mutations and, if approved, should be made available in support of testing, tracing, vaccination and other therapeutic approaches to allow for efficient management of viral infection by protecting those most at risk for up to two months at a time.”

The company is in the process of filing investigational new drug (IND) applications for the triple antibody combination therapy and estimates to launch Phase I clinical trials in the third quarter of this year.

In March, Sorrento started a programme to develop a decoy cellular vaccine, STI-6991, against Covid-19.