Emergent to partner with Mount Sinai for potential plasma-derived COVID-19 therapy

(Reuters) - Emergent BioSolutions Inc said on Wednesday it would jointly develop and run trials for its antibody product derived from plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients as a potential treatment with the Mount Sinai Health System.

Under the partnership, which also includes biotech company ImmunoTek Bio Centers, Emergent will conduct a study on high-risk frontline healthcare workers and military personnel taking the experimental therapy within 72 hours after a possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The study will be aided by the $34.6 million in funding from the U.S. government granted to Emergent.

The clinical research will evaluate if treatment with Emergent’s antibody product will help protect high-risk individuals and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Emergent will also submit an experimental marketing application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the product.

The company’s shares rose 5.1% to $94.03 in Wednesday morning trade.

According to David Reich, president and chief operating officer of the Mount Sinai Hospital, a plasma-derived antibody product may be an effective option in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 currently, in the absence of a vaccine. It may also prove helpful for patients who do not develop immunity from a vaccine.

ImmunoTek will extend its FDA license to enable plasma collection onsite at New York City’s Mount Sinai and also train staff to assist in plasma collection procedures.

In April, Emergent was awarded $14.5 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop its treatment based on plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel