Mount Sinai researchers, GenScript develop a COVID-19 antibody to treat sick patients

A team of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in collaboration with GenScript, is developing a synthetic antibody to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease.
The antibody is intended to block the virus from entering human lung cells and would be another potential treatment option for COVID-19.
The effort is being led by Mone Zaidi, MD, PhD, MACP, Director of the Mount Sinai Bone Program and Tony Yuen, PhD, Associate Director for Research for the Mount Sinai Bone Program.
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In hope of developing a treatment that could block the viral entry into cells, Dr. Zaidi and his team are creating an antibody targeted to a peptide sequence of the S1 spike protein that should interfere with, and thereby block, the virus and prevent attachment and entry to human cells.
The first step, which is currently underway, is to create a custom version of the S1 spike’s peptide sequence, which will be used to generate the antibody. Once the peptide sequence is available, Dr. Zaidi says the team will collaborate with GenScript to generate a human antibody which will be tested for efficacy in human cells in culture and animal models.
“It’s hard to project how long it will take to have something we can test in patients, but my aim is to have a targeted antibody for first human trials within the next 12 months if all goes as planned, but it could be earlier,” says Dr. Zaidi.