Candidates: Monoclonal antibody and anti-idiotype
Types: Fully human monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, and DNA aptamer-based anti-idiotypes to some of those monoclonal antibodies
Status: Tonix said July 16 that it entered into a research collaboration and option agreement with Columbia University focused on studying immune responses to COVID-19 in healthy volunteers who have recovered from the virus or were asymptomatic. The collaboration will focus on T cell and antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 at the cellular level, including human monoclonal antibodies and anti-idiotypes.
The two principal investigators for the collaboration are Ilya Trakht, PhD, and Sergei Rudchenko, PhD, both of Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Trakht will study T cell and antibody responses, including at the cellular level by stimulating T cells in vitro with SARS-CoV-2 antigens, and by generating fully human monoclonal antibodies against the virus. Tonix said the project could to lead to the isolation and characterization of therapeutically relevant fully human monoclonal antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
Rudchenko’s project will generate DNA aptamer-based anti-idiotypes to some of the monoclonal antibodies identified by Trakht. Such aptamers could identify biomarkers for protective immunity from SARS-CoV-2, and thus lead to accelerated precision medicine-driven vaccines designed to protect against COVID-19.
“A challenge for future research will be to determine which vaccine is appropriate for each individual. Data from this collaboration will provide a roadmap and tools to potentially guide these recommendations,” stated Tonix president and CEO Seth Lederman, MD. “This work may also guide the selection of appropriate individuals for COVID-19 vaccine trials, such as for Tonix’s TNX-1800, based on a live replicating vector platform, which is designed to confer durable T cell immunity.
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: