Sorrento Therapeutics has entered into a research testing agreement with The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for the preclinical testing of its COVID-19 therapeutic product candidates.
Dr Slobodan Paessler, John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense and scientific director of the Animal Biosafety Laboratory 3 at the Galveston National Laboratory, will be supervising the research.
The work will be performed in Dr Paessler’s laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), one of only two maximum containment laboratories on a university campus in the US and one of just a few such Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratories currently operating in the US.
Dr. Paessler specialises in viral pathogenesis and therapeutic agent development, and he and Dr Cheng Huang’s laboratory most recently obtained a COVID-19 viral isolate and have established the infection cell model for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Sorrento is currently conducting preclinical development of multiple therapeutic candidates to treat COVID-19 across its proprietary platforms, including natural killer (NK) cell therapies, neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and soluble recombinant fusion protein traps (COVIDTRAP) to potentially inhibit the binding of SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein with host ACE2 receptors, thereby potentially preventing viral cell entry.
Elsewhere, Sorrento has entered into an exclusive license agreement with China-based antibody biopharma, Mabpharm, for the clinical development and commercialisation of the ACE-MAB fusion protein for the potential treatment of COVID-19.