Marban Photo by Erika Seress Photography

Beverly Hills-based biotech firm Capricor Therapeutics Inc. is about to start work on an entirely new type of Covid-19 test.

Capricor on Feb. 1 announced it had received a license from Johns Hopkins University to develop a new imaging-based serology test platform to detect and analyze Covid-19. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The test platform, initially developed by researchers at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins, uses new imaging technology to identify antibodies to multiple proteins associated with the coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease.

In the announcement, Capricor indicated it plans to use the technology for two different tracks of additional research and development — and eventually commercialization.

One track is to produce a more in-depth picture of a patient’s antibody profile, thus giving a clearer look at the extent of a patient’s Covid infection, as well as the ability to detect coronavirus variants.

The other track Capricor intends to pursue is to use the more in-depth information on antibodies to develop and refine one or more vaccines. Capricor has been developing a vaccine intended to act not just on the coronavirus spike protein but also on the proteins inside the nucleus of the coronavirus.

The idea is for the vaccine to confer broader immunity that is not impacted by surface mutations on the coronavirus.

“(Capricor’s) vaccines are designed to potentially elicit long-lasting, broad-based, humoral and cellular immunity that extends beyond the spike protein alone,” Capricor Chief Executive Linda Marban said in a statement.

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