Sioux Falls company launches human trials for COVID-19 treatment

Lab workers run tests in quality control on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at SAB Biotherapeutics in Sioux Falls.

A Sioux Falls company that is developing a COVID-19 therapeutic announced Tuesday that it has embarked on human trials.

SAB Biotherapeutics said that 28 healthy volunteers were participating in the company’s phase-one trial of its antibody treatment known as SAB-185. The phase-one study will evaluate the safety of treating patients with the therapeutic, which is a human antibody that can be produced at large scale using genetically modified cattle.

More:Sioux Falls biotech firm rushing to develop coronavirus treatment

“This is a critical time in the global fight against COVID-19 and we believe that SAB-185, a fully-human polyclonal antibody, has the potential to serve as a differentiated therapeutic option,” SAB President and CEO Eddie Sullivan said in a release announcing the trial. Preclinical data, Sullivan added, has demonstrated that SAB-185 develops “highly potent neutralizing antibodies” that are more potent than human convalescent plasma serum.

Plasma that contains antibodies that were developed among previously infected patients has been used as a therapeutic to spur the immune systems in newly infected patients.

The 28 healthy volunteers will be given single and multiple ascending doses of SAB-185 to demonstrate its safety.

More:Manufacturing under way in Sioux Falls for potential COVID-19 therapeutic

A second part of the phase-one study to evaluate the safety and pharmacological activity in SAB-185 in COVID-19 patients is slated to begin later this month. Besides treating ill patients, SAB-185 is being developed for use by first responders and others as a protective treatment.

Since March, SAB has received $72 million – including $35.6 million last week – to develop its therapeutic from the Department of Defense, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services, which is overseeing the “Operation Warp Speed” program to push promising vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 through the regulatory review process as quickly as possible.

“We are determined to make a difference and help patients with our innovative new technology when it is needed most,” Sullivan said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *