IG Biotech Group aims to bring antibody-based prevention and treatment for COVID-19 by the third quarter of 2020 in the Philippines.
IG Biotech and partners hope to offer in the Philippines – where the infection rate has yet to peak and is expected to rise well above current numbers over the next months – this treatment by the third quarter of 2020.
IG Biotech is a partnership between IP Biotech, an importer, wholesaler, and retail administration of vaccines in the Philippines in the last 15 years, and a local biotech firm Secura, which has a team of experts in the pandemic, infectious diseases, and vaccine development.
The proposed antibody-based treatment is meant to ease active infections and provide short-term immunity or prophylaxis against the virus, while the commercial production of the COVID-19 vaccine is still far at hand.
The group is supported by VINS Bioproducts, an Indian Biopharmaceutical company that produces antisera, antitoxins, and immunoglobulin-based products.
IP Biotech chair Enrique Gonzalez said in a press statement on Sunday that the group was “working around the clock” to develop the COVID-19 treatment and was on track to conduct clinical trials by mid-year.
“We have focused on an antibody treatment due to the shorter timeline for development, and the high degree of safety and predictability during trials. We are merely taking nature’s (human immune system) answer to COVID and distilling it into a vial form which can be administered safely and conveniently,” Gonzales explained.
The treatment was intended to provide individuals, especially healthcare workers, frontliners, and other high-risk individuals, a vital 30-day window of passive immunity to the virus. The treatment also intends to prevent symptoms from worsening in critical cases, said by Noel Miranda, former ASEAN Regional Coordinator for Multi-sectoral Pandemic Research and Response and Member of the Scientific team of IG Biotech.
“With the increasing number of infected frontline healthcare personnel, it is of the highest priority to provide proven protection and peace of mind to frontline personnel and their families,” she added.
The treatment being developed will make use of antibodies, also known as hyperimmune globulins, found in convalescent plasma (CP) obtained from former COVID-19 patients. Historically, this type of antibody treatment has been used in previous outbreaks such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV.