The funding, specifically for the production and preclinical testing of its novel antibody therapeutic targeting influenza viruses, is a research collaboration project with the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. The project was initiated through the BioSNTR, or “bio center,” a research initiative in Sioux Falls for academic and industry research collaborations.

“The antigen we are developing contains a combination of four strains of influenza viruses, the same ones contained in the 2016-2017 vaccine. So this collaboration with USD is a significant one,” said Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D., president and CEO of SAB.

“This collaboration is a great example of how the BioSNTR links academic and industry researchers to address a specific scientific problem,” added Adam Hoppe, Ph.D., director of the BioSNTR, which is focused on bridging the gap between academia and industry to create a bio-economy in South Dakota through high-impact science.

Depending on the season, there are 3,000 to 49,000 influenza virus-associated deaths in the U.S. each year,” said influenza expert Victor Huber, Ph.D., associate professor in the division of basic biomedical sciences at USD, who studies immunology, virology and vaccinology and is leading this project at USD to test SAB’s treatment.

“SAB’s technology is on the forefront of treating viruses like influenza with antibody therapeutics that can complement vaccine efforts,” Huber said. “This funding is important to advance the development of solutions that address the rapid spread of viruses that continue to threaten human health in the U.S. and around the world.”

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