Prophylactic vaccines comprised of genes that encode antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 antigens are being co-developed by SmartPharm Therapeutics and Sorrento Therapeutics for prevention of COVID-2019 infection. The lead vaccine candidate will be developed by combining the monoclonal antibody platform (G-MABTM library) of Sorrento and non-viral nanoparticle gene delivery platform or Gene MAb™ of SmartPharm. Gene Mab™ platform combines a novel DNA plasmid with long duration of expression and a safe, effective delivery system to be used in standard hypodermic injection. Several monoclonal antibody candidates from the G-MABTM library will be identified that neutralise the viral antigens. The Gene MAb™ platform will then incorporate the selective antibodies to be encoded by gene which will further cause production of protective antibody against the virus directly in the muscle of an individual. Early stage research is ongoing in the US.
In March 2020, Sorrento Therapeutics and SmartPharm Therapeutics entered into research and development collaboration to develop a gene-encoded antibody or antibodies vaccine for prevention of COVID-2019 infection. The collaboration will utilize monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus discovered and/or generated by Sorrento that will be encoded into a gene for delivery utilizing SmartPharm’s non-viral nanoparticle platform. Under the collaboration, Sorrento and SmartPharm will develop a gene-encoded antibody or antibodies that can be administered as a prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The collaboration may include candidate development as well as filing of an IND application. Financial details were not disclosed.