COVID-19 is a disease caused by an infection of the novel virus, SARS-CoV-2, which is so highly contagious that the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020, has declared COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. There are currently no therapeutics or vaccines available that show strong efficacy or cure all patients when administered. Considering the speed of virus’ spread around the world, developing a therapeutics for infected patients and prevention for the virus remains critical and urgent global needs.
Since April 2020, Y-Biologics began to explore therapeutic antibodies for COVID-19 and discovered 15 antibodies that completely block the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein to the receptor of human cell membrane, ACE-2. From among them, we have secured final two developmental antibody candidates with outstanding properties. Two lead developmental candidates have in common that they recognize the RBD (Receptor Binding Domain), which is a site that binds to ACE-2 of spike protein, but binding epitopes are different. With the aim of obtaining sales approval within 2021, we are conducting non-clinical and clinical co-development with Genexine, which has excellent clinical capabilities, for accelerating therapeutic development.
We are developing a cocktail therapy consisting of two types of antibodies A and B that can block viral infections 100% while having completely different epitopes. When a variant virus with a mutation occurs in the one side of antibody epitope, only cocktail therapy can show the therapeutic effects while single-antibody treatments are likely to be neutralized. This is the best feature of our COVID-19 treatment.