Candidate: STI-1499 (COVI-GUARD™)
Type: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, the first antibody to be identified as part of COVI-SHIELD™, an antibody “cocktail” therapy being developed by the partners.
Status: Sorrento founder and CEO Henry Ji, PhD, on May 20 denied that his company was being “manipulative” and trying to “shamelessly profiteer off the pandemic,” as alleged by Hindenburg Research in a report stating it has taken a short position in shares of the company.
Five days earlier, Sorrento saw its share price more than double, rocketing 158% to a closing price of $6.76, after announcing that in preclinical experiments, STI-1499 showed 100% inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection on healthy cells after four days incubation. “We want to emphasize there is a cure,” Ji told Fox News.
Shares dipped back to a close of $5.70 on May 20. Hindenburg cited Sorrento submitting “shelf registration” paperwork in March seeking the right to sell up to $1 billion in securities. In April, the company agreed to sell $500 million of stock, weeks before its announcement.
“What we are focusing on instead of watching the stock going up or going down, we are focusing on making sure we have the real deal,” Ji said. “You have the antibody that can prevent the virus from infecting healthy cells. That means you will have a real product. If you have a real product, eventually the stock will be reflecting the assets you have.”
Sorrento said STI-1499 emerged from billions of antibodies screened in the company’s proprietary G-MAB™ fully human antibody library. Sorrento identified hundreds of antibody candidates that bind the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, of which about a dozen showed the ability to block the S1 protein’s interaction with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The blocking antibodies were further tested for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in an in vitro SARS-CoV-2 virus infection model, under a preclinical testing agreement with The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston announced March 31, 2020.
COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting
To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:
● FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.
● DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data.
● KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.
● TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.
GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types: