SAB Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in which the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has an investment interest, is expanding operations in South Dakota with the construction of an 80-acre pharm underway in Lincoln County near Canton.
The 80-acre pharm, an agricultural-based production unit whose output is biologicals for the benefit of human health, is the first facility of its kind designed specifically for cattle. Animal antibodies have been made in rabbits, sheep, and horses for use in humans, but SAB’s platform is the first to produce fully human antibodies in large animals.
To produce the therapeutic, the cattle are vaccinated against a disease target. Within a brief period of time, they produce significant amounts of fully human antibodies, the proteins that naturally fight disease in our bodies. Plasma is collected from the cattle in the same manner as humans and purified in the company’s biomanufacturing facility to isolate the antibodies, which become the therapeutic treatment.
Prior to the move to Lincoln County, SAB’s herd of transgenic cattle has been housed at Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center, Iowa. Phase I of the Lincoln County project includes a four-building complex with a total footprint of approximately 40,000 square feet and five full-time employees caring for 40 animals. Phase 2 is planned over a number of years and includes 10 buildings with more than 100,000 square feet, approximately 40 employees and 500 animals at full capacity. Construction on the first production building began August 23. Completion of the first two buildings is expected by the end of the year, with the remainder of Phase 1 completed spring of 2018.
SAB, founded in 2014, develops human antibody therapeutics using its first-of-its-kind immunotherapy platform leveraging transgenic cattle (TcBovine). The TcBovine 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.
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