To fight the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2, the virus behind the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 disease, a Nagpur based Indian biotechnology company, GeNext Genomics (GNG), contributes by isolating the antibody gene pool of the cured Covid-19 patients that will unravel target antibodies for neutralizing SARS-COV-2.
The therapeutic antibody is a bullet-like drug that targets and neutralizes the virus. One of the core biological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 is the presence of spike proteins that enable this virus to invade host cells through its receptor-binding domain (RBD) and cause infection. RBD is a crucial region on the virus’s spike protein, which is evaluated for identifying inhibitory or neutralizing molecules. The GNG team isolated the antibodies from a diverse gene pool, which were phage-displayed and panned through RBD and spike proteins of SARS-COV-2.
Using its proprietary Antibody Library Platform, GNG has successfully identified a few strong binders that will soon be evaluated for its efficacy towards the target and developing a potential future therapy. Currently, the team is characterizing these binders for neutralization and efficacy against SARS-COV-2. The development would go in a phase-wise manner with collaboration for pre-clinical and clinical studies. GNG hence aims to build a therapeutic monoclonal antibody neutralizing the RBD domain.
Speaking on the development Supriya Kashikar, Founder and chief executive officer GeNext Genomics, said, “GNG is working towards developing an indigenous solution to Covid-19 by identifying Monoclonal Antibody Binders from cured Patients of Covid-19”. She further added that “Monoclonal Antibody has a huge potential in formulating a biologic drug for SARS-COV-2.” She also added, “Our Prime Minister addressed the scientific fraternity to work towards this pandemic and that has triggered us to use our expertise and try to bring out the solution. This is just the first milestone but we will fast track it to successful lead development.”
Currently, monoclonal antibody-based therapy for Covid-19 has been approved by the FDA for an emergency. GeNext Genomics aims to build a therapeutic valued antibody which will be much efficacious than currently approved therapy. Although drug discovery is a long journey, the scientists at GNG aim to complete the molecule validation and antibody development by early 2021.
Apart from Covid-19 therapeutic target validation, GNG is also developing a biosimilar clone of Golimumab under National Biopharma Mission. GNG aims to gradually develop a therapeutic pipeline and make India self-sustained with its discovery and healthcare solutions.
GeNext Genomics (GNG) was founded in 2011 by its chief executive officer and founder, Supriya Kashikar, and is a biotechnology firm that focuses on diagnostic and therapeutic proteins development. The mission of GNG is to become front-runners in high-throughput antibody and protein production, assuring quality, and excellence. The company believes in developing assets through innovation, research, and development. The company is located in Nagpur, Maharashtra. GNG currently has three patents and is developing more indigenous IP related innovations.