Friday, May 15, 2020

A Covid19 Breakthrough?

Trump will be giving an address soon, and there's speculation that it could concern developments that are described in this story at FoxNews:

California biopharmaceutical company claims coronavirus antibody breakthrough

The important thing about the claims being made for this breakthrough is that this is not just some super accurate antibody test--it's a cure. That's the claim:

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, Fox News has exclusively learned. 
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."

To see why this would be so important, today Steve Sailer explains the possible, perhaps even likely pitfalls, of pursuing 'herd immunity':

How Exactly Is Herd Immunity Supposed to Work?

Treatments based on these types of synthetic antibodies seem clearly preferable.

Many companies have been pursuing this type of research, and their have been concerns about long term use. These are the claims that Sorrento Therapeutics is making:

... the researchers at Sorrento found that there was one particular antibody that showed to be 100 percent effective in blocking COVID-19 from infecting health cells — STI-1499. 
"When the antibody prevents a virus from entering a human cell, the virus cannot survive," Dr. Ji said. "If they cannot get into the cell, they cannot replicate. So it means that if we prevent the virus from getting the cell, the virus eventually dies out. The body clears out that virus." 
"This puts its arms around the virus. It wraps around the virus and moves them out of the body." 
Dr. Ji pointed out that the antibody can be used as preventative therapy since there are no side effects, and that it can be more effective than any vaccine that may be developed.

Stay tuned, I guess.


  1. The average lifespan of an IgG antibody molecule in the circulation is 21 days. The lifespan of IgA and IgM is even shorter. People are able to maintain persistent immunity because they can resynthesize new IgG antibody molecules. Unless the company has figured out a way to protect their antibody from routine physiologic degradation, their cure represents only a temporary fix.

    1. From other similar research I think what they have in mind is use as a prophylactic against the disease. For example, medical personnel. The fly in that ointment would be side effects, but the claim here is that there are none. We shall see. It would work as a cure, as well. So even if it has short term staying power, repeated infections could be repeatedly cured.

  2. Sounds like the aids treatments that allow resumption of....u know.

    Get some pills so this old guy can go to college football!

  3. Nothing wrong with this as a first-line treatment for people at high risk of death, but long term use as a prophylactic is idiocy. If one were in the low risk group, it would be far better to just infect yourself with the virus.