SAB delays location at USD Discovery District to focus on COVID-19

SAB Biotherapeutics, a Sioux Falls immunotherapy company rapidly working to develop a therapeutic specific to COVID-19, announced it is delaying its planned development at the USD Discovery District for at least one year.

The company is working on both a test for COVID-19 as well as what could become the first therapeutic developed specifically to treat the disease.

“As the result of years of hard work, we have an opportunity right now to show the world what we can do,” CEO Eddie Sullivan said.

“This extends to a larger vision we have for our company and quite frankly for biotech in South Dakota and its potential impact around the world.”

Earlier this week, Sullivan said a therapeutic leveraging SAB’s genetically designed cattle could be available for evaluation by the federal government by this summer.

SAB recently announced a collaboration with global pharma leader CSL Behring and has begun work with the U.S. government on a rapid-response capability in addition to developing its own clinical immunotherapy assets.

“With the outbreak of COVID-19 and our unique ability to rapidly respond with potential treatments to emerging infectious disease, we have an obligation to leverage this capability to quickly develop a new therapeutic treatment for what has become a global pandemic,” Sullivan said.

“This adds to the many factors that have impacted our business over the last nine months and represents well the accelerated pace at which we’ve been moving.”

A number of developments led to a decision to delay the new building, he added.

“But we believe it’s the right decision for human health, for South Dakota and for our business.”

SAB Biotherapeutics was announced as an anchor tenant at the USD Discovery District in June 2018. The company was asked to take over as developer for the project in 2019 and formed Aurochs LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary for that purpose. Since that time, driven primarily by the growth of the company, the building planned for the district has increased significantly in scope and complexity, resulting in a significant amount of work, SAB said in a statement.

“The USD Discovery District and its stakeholders are supportive in SAB’s commitment to engage in mitigating the impact of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and will work diligently to maintain the status of the project when appropriate,” said Dr. Mark Brown, president and CEO of the USD Discovery District.

SAB will continue to work together with the other parties and plan with contractors to minimize any impacts to their businesses and maintain what is needed to ramp back up, it said in a statement, adding:

“In the meantime, SAB is expediting the increased capacities needed to meet interim activity demands through other avenues and will announce when plans are solidified.”
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