MSIP Honors Inventors for their Exemplary Work in Developing Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 Antibody Test

At the Innovation Awards Ceremony on December 8, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP) presented the award for Inventor of the Year to eight individuals whose efforts led to the development of multiple diagnostic tests for the detection of antibodies against the COVID-19 spike protein – the principal target of neutralizing antibodies:

  • Florian Krammer, PhD, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Viviana Simon, MD, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Daniel Stadlbauer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Fatima Amanat, Graduate Assistant, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Carlos Cordon-Cardo, MD, PhD, Irene Heinz Given and John LaPorte Given Professor and Chair of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Ania Wajnberg, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of Clinical Antibody Testing at Mount Sinai
  • Adolfo Firpo-Betancourt, MD, Professor of Pathology, Molecular and Cell Based Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Damodara Rao Mendu, PhD, Director of Chemistry Laboratories, for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

These exceptional efforts culminated in regulatory approvals from New York State and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These antibody tests also served as the blueprint for development and broad regulatory approval for the test kits by Kantaro Biosciences, a Mount Sinai venture that launched in May that has scaled manufacturing and distribution of test kits to the global community.

“There was a need for science when the pandemic began, and this team came together and stepped up to the challenge,” said Krammer. “Thank you to our leadership, to the [Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai] and MSIP for providing the resources we needed to move this forward.”

The recipients’ efforts spanned research and clinical innovation in the fight against COVID-19. These tests in various forms were utilized for identifying individuals with an immune response, high titer donors for Mount Sinai’s Convalescent Plasma Program, and ultimately, the development of a correlate of immunity.

“We have been fortunate enough to have a terrific team that brings together basic investigators, translational and clinical colleagues allowing to transfer research-based assays into clinical tests offered through our regulated clinical labs to serve the community,” said Cordon-Cardo.

The award was presented to the group by Erik Lium, PhD, President of MSIP and Chief Commercial Innovation Officer for the Mount Sinai Health System (MSHS), recognizing their efforts in breakthrough discoveries and resulting partnerships with industry.

“We are continuously inspired by this dedicated group of colleagues who met the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic with immense motivation to help patients on a global scale,” Lium said. “On behalf of MSIP and the [MSHS], we congratulate them on this tremendous accomplishment.”

Tune in to the event: