Transgenic goats broaden application of premier immunotherapy platform with personalized medicine, testing and diagnostics
Sioux Falls, SD, December 20, 2017 – SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today they have formed and officially launched a Utah-based wholly owned subsidiary,
SAB Capra, LLC and incorporated the new entity under the SAB Biotherapeutics corporate umbrella. The new company leverages Transchromosomal (Tc) goats™ to produce human therapeutics and reagents for diagnostics and testing.
SAB, founded in 2014, develops human antibody therapeutics using its first-of-its-kind natural human immunotherapy platform leveraging transgenic cattle (Tc Bovine™). The bovine have been genetically designed to produce large amounts of human polyclonal antibodies (immunoglobulin G) in response to a target disease. The company’s first two treatments are in clinical trials, with other infectious disease, oncology and autoimmune targets in development.
“We’re excited to launch this strategic complement to the SAB Biotherapeutics’ first-of-its-kind immunotherapy development platform,” said Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D., president and CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics and SAB Capra.
“In addition to rapid, large-scale production of targeted human polyclonal therapeutics, the Tc Goat platform can also provide an antibody standards and reagents for testing and diagnostics as well as specific antibodies for personalized medicine,” he added.
SAB Capra began from collaboration with Utah State University (USU) researchers, Dr. Irina Polejaeva and Dr. Zhongde Wang on a project funded by a $150,000 grant from Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR), Initiative a technology based economic development initiative funded by the state of Utah.
"SAB Capra and USU came together to receive one of USTAR's first Industry Partnership Program (IPP) grants, which match Utah companies with Utah researchers to solve a technological challenge that will generate new revenue and strengthen the state's economy," said Ivy Estabrooke, PhD, Executive Director of USTAR. "This team has set a high bar for all other IPP awardees. They are defining success for technology-based economic development in Utah.”
The cutting-edge work being done in genetic engineering in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at USU, began when SAB’s founder and CEO, Eddie Sullivan was a graduate student.
“It was a great fit for us to work with Utah State University and their researchers based on their deep expertise in genetic engineering that I’ve been very familiar with,” added Sullivan. “We also believe Utah is the right place to commercialize products from the platform with their regional specialty in testing and diagnostics.”
The first Tc Goat™, “Lilly Star” was born May 5, 2017 at Utah State University as a result of the project. She has already begun producing human antibodies combatting H7N9 influenza as part of the first study expected to be completed First Quarter 2018. Once the testing is complete, SAB Capra will continue to build out the flock of Tc Goats for production of antibodies to broader targets.
The smaller size of the goat–relative to the bovine–make it less expensive to produce. Goats also have a shorter gestation period and shorter time for the immune system to mature compared to cattle. Therefore, from the time they are born, goats can begin producing the antibody products on a more rapid timeline.
Goats are also desirable for products that require smaller volumes, such as personalized medicine–producing a treatment specific to one person. In addition, goats are routinely raised in many countries where emerging infectious diseases are a concern, making them potentially important contributors to global public health.
“We’ve seen the science and resulting immunotherapies fill unmet needs that exist today with a large-scale rapid response to infectious diseases such as Ebola, Zika, MERS and Hanta,” added Sullivan. “Our platform has also been effective in producing complementary therapeutic candidates to vaccines in evolving targets such as seasonal influenza.”
The potential for genetically engineered animals to play a role in fighting disease was recognized by the World Health Organization, which selected SAB Biotherapeutics as having one of the top approaches to respond to emerging infectious diseases with epidemic potential.
“We’re thrilled to be working with an accomplished alumnus and be part of this extraordinary project,” said Dr. Ken White, Vice President for Extension and Agriculture, and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University. “Leveraging the expertise of our talented team and collaborating on commercializing new technologies is an important initiative for our university’s applied research, state’s economic development and potential of a much broader impact on global human health.”
“It’s exciting whenever our research and technology portfolio can be used to help establish new, and innovative technology commercialization opportunities for the State of Utah,” he added.
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About SAB Capra, LLC.
SAB Capra, LLC. is an emerging bioscience company leveraging transgenic goats for the production of human polyclonal antibodies for use in diagnostics and testing, targeted immunotherapies and personalized medicine applications. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah SAB Capra was organized through a collaboration with Utah State University (USU) researchers, Dr. Irina Polejaeva and Dr. Zhongde Wang through a research project funded by a $150,000 grant from Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR), a technology based economic development initiative funded by the state of Utah.
About SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.
SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAB) is a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical development company leading the science and manufacturing of antibody therapeutics. Utilizing some of the most advanced polyclonal antibody science in the world, SAB is delivering the world’s first large-scale platform to create fully human immunoglobulins. This natural production platform holds the potential for treatment of public health problems, rare conditions, long-term diseases and global pandemic threats.
Photo: "Lilly Star" is the first transchromosomal (Tc) goat born May 5, 2017 at Utah State University. She has already begun producing human antibodies combatting H7N9 influenza as part of the first study expected to be completed First Quarter 2018. Once the testing is complete, SAB Capra will continue to build out the flock of Tc Goats for production of antibodies to broader targets.
Photo courtesy: Dennis Hinkamp–Utah State University
SAB Biotherapeutics / SAB Capra: Melissa Ullerich, +1 605.695.8350 / email@example.com
Linda Cabrales, +1 385.228.6134 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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