Blood collected from survivors of COVID-19 has been used to identify antibodies against the disease, which have been turned into experimental drugs to fight it. But it’s not an easy process. So back in March, San Francisco startup GigaGen decided to test a technology it developed to rapidly identify disease-fighting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus at the heart of the pandemic, and turn them into a drug to fight the disease.
Now the company says it has early evidence that the approach has yielded a promising drug candidate, GIGA-2050. When tested against the SARS-CoV-2 live virus, GIGA-2050 was 100 times more protective than plasma from survivors, they reported on the journal preprint site bioRxiv.
In March, the GigaGen team took blood from 50 people in Louisiana who had either tested positive for COVID-19 or shown symptoms of the disease. They selected 16 samples with high levels of disease-fighting antibodies, and from there built 8 libraries, each of which contained between 54,986 and 156,592 different antibodies, according to the study.
Sinovac Launches Phase 3 Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine in Indonesia
China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd launched a late-stage human trial on Tuesday that will involve as many as 1,620 patients in Indonesia for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it is developing with Indonesian state-owned peer Bio Farma.Separately, Sinovac released details on Monday from a mid-stage, or Phase 2, study in which it said the vaccine candidate appeared to be safe and induced detectable antibody-based immune responses in subjects.
The candidate, known as CoronaVac, is among a few potential vaccines that have entered late-stage trials for a large-scale study to gather proof of efficacy for regulatory approval.CoronaVac is already undergoing a late-stage trial in Brazil and Sinovac expects to also test it in Bangladesh.