Fraunhofer ITEM staff present the final vial after fill and finish campaign of the first larger GMP manufacturing run
Fraunhofer ITEM staff present the final vial of the fill and finish campaign of the first larger GMP manufacturing run using an innovative cell pool technology that allowed much faster production. (Foto: Prof. Holger Ziehr)

15.11.2020 – CORAT Therapeutics CEO Dr. Andreas Herrmann today proudly reports the conclusion of the production campaign providing the first larger batch of COR-101 ready for the patients. COR-101 is a fully human antibody developed in Braunschweig which efficiently blocks the cell entry of the SARS-CoV-2, thereby preventing infection with the  Coronavirus.

Because COR-101 directly attacks the virus, its clinical use will focus on helping the patients who cannot be cured by vaccination as this is the most urgent medical need in the pandemic. However, it is expected that it will also protect the uninfected, which will be tested in a second step. 

Human antibodies are molecules produced by our own body to fight infections. COR-101 is one of these antibodies. It can be made in large quantities by biotechnological manufacturing, to immediately help to neutralize the coronavirus in those patients who cannot built enough of their own antibodies in time.     

„We are extremely happy and would like to thank everybody who helped to make this happen so quickly. With acute case numbers rising fast, CORAT hopes to make a difference by providing an option soon to directly treat the Coronavirus-Infected. We hope that the clinical studies now can commence very soon.“

Dr. Andreas Herrmann, CEO of CORAT Therapeutics.

More information (PDF): englishgerman

CORAT won the Innovation Award of the State of Lower Saxony
Björn Thümler, Minister of Science; Prof. Michael Hust, University of Braunschweig; Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Minister for Economy, Dr. Thomas Schirrmann, COO of CORAT Therapeutics GmbH, Prof. Josef von Helden, Director of the Board of Innovation Nework Niedersachsen (from the left).

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economics Dr. Bernd Althusmann and Lower Saxony’s Minister of Science Björn Thümler, together with Prof. Josef von Helden, Chairman of the Board of the Innovation Network Lower Saxony, once again honoured visionary ideas, cooperation stories and economic successes from Lower Saxony with the Lower Saxony Innovation Award on 28.9.2020. This year, a particularly strong connection to current social problems became clear: two of the three prize winners are working on solutions to overcome the corona pandemic.

“The development already shows the great potential of Lower Saxony’s locations to play a leading role in a pandemic platform in the future, which aims to be able to react much faster to infectious diseases with a pandemic risk in the future. The competencies for the very rapid development of drug candidates also against future virus pandemics were demonstrated using the example of SARS-CoV-2.”

Innovation Award of the State of Lower Saxony 2020

CORAT SAB member Prof. Dr. Dübel explains how antibodies protect our body against coronavirus infections.

With support from the German Federal State of Lower Saxony, CORAT Therpeutics was formed as a dedicated body to promote the further development of the antibody based COVID-10 medicine.

“What is being developed here in Braunschweig may save lives all over the world. Therefore, we decided to provide CORAT Therapeutics a financial base for the rapid development of a COVID-19 drug.” 

Minister of Economy Dr. Bernd Althusmann 

Today YUMAB GmbH announces the first financing round of its spin-off CORAT Therapeutics GmbH to advance the development of COVID-19 antibody drug candidates. Financial investments are provided by the German Federal State of Lower Saxony and a group of private investors from Braunschweig. CORAT Therapeutics will pursue the clinical development of the lead antibody drug candidate COR-101.  

 “In addition to the scientific ability to develop an effective drug against COVID-19, it is now important to provide a financial scope for a young biotech company to be able to work successfully. We contribute this expertise through our associated company NBank-Capital. Together with a Braunschweig investor group, we provide the financial requirements to develop an effective drug against COVID-19 here in Lower Saxony.” 

Dr. Ulf Meier, board member of NBank 

CORAT generated fully neutralising coronavirus antibodies protecting against SARS-CoV-2 infection, as confirmed by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research

Infection of cells (in cell culture) with SARS-CoV2 isolates from a COVID19 patient lead to their lysis, indicated by rounding and loss of confluence (upper left panel). Uninfected cells (upper right) grow normally (no dead round dots). Lower right: Adding the CORAT antibody to infected cells completely protected the cells from infection for 5 days, while a negative control antibody (lower left panel) did not protect the cells (Fotos: light microscopy).
(Data: HZI, Prof. Čičin-Šain)

“This result represents a crucial milestone in development of an effective therapy for Covid-19.” (Dr. Thomas Schirrmann)

Promising candidate for Covid-19 antibody therapy (PDF, english)
Vielversprechender Wirkstoffkandidat zur Behandlung von Covid-19  (PDF, german)

Dr. Thomas Schirrmann and Lower Saxony’s Minister of Health and Dr. Carola Reimann discuss the possibilities to rapidly develop a treatment against COVID-19

Today, Lower Saxony’s Minister of Health, Dr. Carola Reimann, took a look at the data on human antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and discussed possible treatment options with Dr. Thomas Schirrmann.

“Without a vaccine or a drug, the only effective means of fighting the corona virus at present is to restrict social contacts and to observe rules of distance and hygiene. If we want to relax the measures and slowly return to a normal life, we also need a therapy. The results achieved here in Braunschweig in such a short time are very promising and give hope.”

Dr. Carola Reimann, Minister of Health

Since 27 January 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has also arrived in Germany. It has spread worldwide in a very short time and reached almost every country. It has been proven that 2.57 million people are now infected with the virus (as of 22 April 2020, 9:38 a.m.; data from Johns Hopkins University) – and the number of undetected cases is estimated to be many times higher. The number of deaths caused by the virus is also increasing rapidly and has now reached almost 177,521. One reason for this is that no vaccine or effective medication against the virus is yet available. The whole world is working flat out to find one. YUMAB, the mother company of COART Therapeutics, has been generating and optimising antibodies as active ingredients for drug development very successfully for more than seven years for biotech and pharmaceutical customers worldwide to declare war on the novel SARS-CoV-2. With its complex and sophisticated phage display technology and an antibody library containing 100 billion (10 to 11) different human antibodies, it has already been able to identify antibodies that could potentially be used as active ingredients against the virus in less than four weeks. Initial tests have shown that these antibodies can bind to a surface protein of the virus and thus prevent it from infecting host cells.

Dr. Bernd Althusmann (left), Dr. Thomas Schirrmann, Dr. André Frenzel

Braunschweig, April 1, 2020 – Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Minister for Economics, Labour, Transport and Digitisation of Lower Saxony and Deputy Prime Minister discusses the activities to generate antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 as a basis for a COVID-19 therapy with Dr. Thomas Schirrmann and Dr. André Frenzel. He signalled the support of the State of Lower Saxony for a rapid passive vaccine development as a prerequisite to get back to an unrestricted normal life as soon as possible.

In this context, he highly acknowledged our success in generating coronavirus antibody candidates and pushing their development towards clinical studies.