Representational image
Representational image

On Friday, the shares of a small biotechnology company in the US rose as much as 244% after it announced that it had made a breakthrough in the development of an antibody to combat the COVID-19 virus.

California-based Sorrento Therapeutics announced that an antibody it was developing had demonstrated its ability to completely block SARS-CoV-2 infection of healthy cells in pre-clinical laboratory experiments. In case you were wondering, SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results on Friday showed that the antibody in question, STI-1499, completely neutralised the virus infectivity at a very low antibody dose, making it a prime candidate for further testing and development. Initial biochemical and biophysical analyses also indicate STI-1499 is a potentially strong antibody drug candidate, said company.

"Our STI-1499 antibody shows exceptional therapeutic potential and could potentially save lives following receipt of necessary regulatory approvals," Henry Ji, Chairman and CEO of Sorrento, said in a statement.

Sorrento aims to generate an antibody cocktail product that would act as a "protective shield" against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and remain effective even if virus mutations render a single antibody therapy less effective over time. STI-1499 will likely be the first antibody in the antibody cocktail, the company said.

According to a Business Insider report, Sorrento Therapeutics' market value went from $549 million at Thursday's close to roughly $1.9 billion at the intra-day highs on Friday.

Reportedly, the company plans to submit the full results of its pre-clinical trials to a peer reviewed publication. Additionally, the company is looking to ask regulators for a prioritised evaluation and speedy review of its potential antibody.

(With inputs from IANS)

(To view our epaper please click here. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Free Press Journal