Candidates: Anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific monoclonal antibodies

Category: ANTIBODY

Types: Monoclonal antibodies based on INOVIO’s DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (dMAb®s) technology.

Status: INOVIO said December 15 that scientists from the company, The Wistar Institute, AstraZeneca, the University of Pennsylvania, and Indiana University received a $37.6 million grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to use INOVIO’s dMAb® technology to develop anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific dMAbs that could function as both a therapeutic and preventive treatment for COVID-19.

Under DARPA’s two-year grant, INOVIO and Wistar teams will construct COVID-19 dMAb candidates designed to mirror AstraZeneca’s traditional recombinant monoclonal antibody candidates now being tested in clinical trials to treat COVID-19, such as AZD7442. Through dMAb technology, INOVIO said, it can encode the DNA sequence for a specific monoclonal antibody in a DNA plasmid and deliver the plasmid directly into cells of the body using the company’s proprietary CELLECTRA® smart device. The resulting DNA medicine is designed to serve as a genetic blueprint that instruct the patient’s body to build its own highly specific antibodies in vivo.

According to INOVIO, dMAb candidates can be quickly developed and produced in vivo, offering a cost-effective and scalable therapeutic and preventive option for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. INOVIO plans to advance the dMAb candidates into preclinical studies and then into rigorous, first-in-human clinical trials within one year of funding.

COVID-19: 300 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >300 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:


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