Mining the blood of recovered patients for treatments during a pandemic isn’t a new idea. Takeda and Grifols are already doing it, working on antibody-rich drugs made from the plasma of patients who have fought off COVID-19 infection. But a small South San Francisco startup thinks its approach could be even better.
“These drugs right now are made by taking plasma from human donors or animals, purifying antibodies from it, which then become a drug. It’s like a cocktail of antibodies,” GigaGen CEO David Johnson, Ph.D., told FierceBiotech. Problem is, that approach is hard to scale.
“You need many, many hundreds of donors to make a fairly small batch of product, and then you have to go out and find more donors—it’s not a very