"Herd" immunity - SAB Biotherapeutics In The News
No, not THAT kind of herd immunity—but pioneering biotechnology using a herd of cows to produce human, polyclonal antibodies that can serve as a bridge until we have a full-blown vaccine.
Tell me more. On a brand-new episode of the I AM BIO Podcast, BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood spoke with SAB Biotherapeutics CEO Eddie Sullivan, who “could become the first scientist ever to make an approved medicine using polyclonal human antibodies produced by a creature other than a human.”
How? The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based company uses genetic engineering and antibody science to breed cows with human antibodies, which are “proteins produced by your immune system to recognize and stop intruders from harming your body.”
And why cows? These large animals have robust immune systems and can produce a LOT more antibody than a lot of animals used in biotech.
Ok, seriously, though—is this technology safe for humans? What about the cows? The technology is “high safety and low concern,” says Eddie. The antibodies don’t contain ANY bovine or human genetics. The cows recognize them as their own antibodies, and when they’re transferred to humans, the human body has a “natural response.”
What can we do with this technology? The antibodies could treat humans already sick with COVID-19 to supplement the natural immune response, or be given as a prophylactic to people like health care workers, first responders, and the elderly, granting “instantaneous protection.”
It’s almost beyond imagination—but it’s biotech.
Listen to the whole thing to learn more about how this works, SAB’s partnership with CSL Behring, and why these polyclonal antibodies could be particularly effective against the novel coronavirus.
Get the podcast at www.bio.org/podcast or wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple, Google, and Spotify.
The SAB story:
· Agri-Pulse: Can cows be used to fight coronavirus?
· BioCentury: Behind SAB’s rapid response to COVID-19