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‘STI-1499’, terminator drug for Covid-19 virus picked as top candidate

A drug that neutralizes the nCov2 virus completely has been identified as a top candidate for clinical tests by a US biopharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics. A part of the mainstream research community has shifted its attention to counter Covid virus through drugs as they consider vaccines are risky or ineffective in people with compromised immune systems-especially the aged and ailing.

In pre-clinical tests STI-1499, completely neutralized the COVID-19 virus infectivity at a very low antibody dose. This indicates that STI-1499 is a potentially strong antibody drug candidate, the company said. The antibody STI-1499 works by blocking the S1 protein’s interaction with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor used for viral entrance into human cells.

The antibody, STI-1499, was picked for its ability to completely block SARS-CoV-2 infection of healthy cells in the experiments. Sorrento Therapeutics looks for ‘STI-1499’ as the first antibody in the antibody cocktail (COVI-SHIELD) it is developing.

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