Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced Wednesday that it is adding to the list of potential novel coronavirus treatments by beginning work on two plasma-derived candidates meant to treat and prevent COVID-19 and its cause, SARS-CoV-2.
Both products, COVID-HIG and COVID-EIG, will be developed on Emergent’s hyperimmune platforms already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They have been used previously to create treatments for a range of other health concerns, such as smallpox vaccine complications, anthrax, and botulism. These new products will include both a human polyclonal hyperimmune and horse-derived polyclonal hyperimmune with antibodies for SARS-CoV-2. Hyperimmunes are products that are derived from plasma as a means of utilizing the immune response in humans or animals to ward off infection.
Both are meant as treatments for severely hospitalized patients, though the human hyperimmune could also be used for protection on those at-risk.
“As a company focused on public health threats, we are committed to responding to this novel coronavirus and will use our broad capabilities and platforms to advance solutions,” Robert Kramer, president and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions, said. “On the heels of our collaboration with an industry partner to develop an experimental vaccine candidate for clinical testing, we are pleased to leverage our existing infrastructure to help expedite development of our product candidates for COVID-19, founded on our decades of experience in hyperimmune manufacturing.”
Emergent hopes that it can manufacture clinical material for these efforts within the next four to five months and kick off a clinical study by the third quarter of 2020.