French biotech contract research organization ProteoGenix, Aseem Healthcare, and life sciences consultancy agency Trident Biopharm Solutions have combined on a new antibody cocktail effective against major variants of SARS-CoV-2.
The cocktail of four human neutralizing antibodies (AH-5-COV) was generated by screening the plasma of a COVID-19 survivor using ProteoGenix’s phage display platform.
The new treatment is undergoing preclinical evaluation and will be ready to start clinical trials in two months.
“Our experience in developing immunotherapies for a wide spectrum of diseases and our contribution to the engineering of three treatments on the market, allowed us to quickly generate a broadly neutralizing antibody cocktail,” said Philippe Funfrock, CEO and co-founder of ProteoGenix. “This treatment’s ability to neutralize several variants of the virus also highlights the potential of phage display technologies to create efficient therapeutics against infectious diseases.”
The neutralizing antibodies were sourced from the plasma samples of a COVID-19 patient who contracted and survived a severe form of the disease.
The partners said the AH-5-COV cocktail provides an accessible, stable, broadly protective, and easy-to-store treatment. They noted this will be particularly valuable for underserved low and middle-income countries.
Besides the wild type of SARS-CoV-2, all four antibodies exhibit moderate to strong activity against variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, Delta, and Omicron in live virus neutralization assays.
The cocktail and each antibody also outperformed other monoclonal treatments currently approved or authorized by the FDA and EMA, particularly against Omicron.
“Antibody cocktails will be crucial to reduce disease severity and hospitalization times for COVID-19,” said Khelan Patel, Chief Commercial Officer at Aseem Healthcare. “Unfortunately, since the start of 2022, patients have been left with fewer treatment options after most of the currently approved mAbs (monoclonal antibodies) have ceased to be effective against Omicron.”
In the past few months, many biotech companies have been pushing COVID-19 vaccines and drugs into late-stage clinical testing, in the hopes of widening the range of options for prevention and treatment.
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