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California company claims coronavirus antibody breakthrough
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California company claims coronavirus antibody breakthrough

A California-based biopharmaceutical company claims to have discovered an antibody that could shield the human body from the coronavirus and flush it out of a person’s system within four days, according to a Fox News report.
Later Friday, Sorrento Therapeutics will announce their discovery of the STI-1499 antibody, which the San Diego company said can provide "100% inhibition" of COVID-19, adding that a treatment could be available months before a vaccine hits the market.
"We want to emphasize there is a cure. There is a solution that works 100 percent," Dr. Henry Ji, founder and CEO of Sorrento Therapeutics, told Fox News. "If we have the neutralizing antibody in your body, you don't need the social distancing. You can open up a society without fear."
The health care and pharmaceutical industries have been scrambling to develop viable vaccines and antibody treatments as the number of COVID-19-related deaths is expected to hit 100,000 by June 1.
Many medical researchers are scrambling to find antibodies, optimistic that they could provide a remedy or preventative care in less time than it would take to develop a vaccine. Antibody treatments have been used for the past 100 years as a means to stave off infections, but their effectiveness has had mixed results. Finding a successful antibody or convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19 could present challenges.
"Doctors are taking blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and infusing it into those who are critically ill. The plasma is laden with antibodies, and the approach shows some promise," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. "The constraint: There isn’t enough plasma from recovered patients to go around."
Some medical experts believe that while antibody research shows promise, there are concerns for how long the effects may last in fighting the virus in an infected patient.
“Antibodies, in general, have been very effective at bringing virus [levels] down if you’ve had a high burden of infection,” Phyllis Kanki, a professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a recent interview. “There are limitations to how much you can give and for how long.”
Officials for Sorrento Therapeutics believe they have found the key to a successful treatment.
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