ZYUS Life Sciences has collaborated with the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) to test plant produced antigens in a vaccine for Covid-19.

ZYUS is a Canada-based pharmaceutical firm and the University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO-InterVac is engaged in developing vaccines and technologies against infectious diseases.

ZYUS CEO Brent Zettl said: “We are proud to partner with VIDO-InterVac to provide Canadian leadership in the development of a vaccine.

“Developing vaccines in plant cells has multiple potential benefits, including the ability to quickly produce a vaccine at scale, having no animal pathogen contaminants, and lower bioreactor processing costs.

“This is an important initiative for us as an organisation, and as citizens looking to make a difference, ZYUS is committing research and development expertise, resources and energy to help find a vaccine now and to develop systems to help respond in the future.”

ZYUS will develop and express the protein identified by VIDO-InterVac for a Covid-19 vaccine

VIDO-InterVac is exploring ways to expand vaccine development against novel coronavirus and has identified a protein that can be used as a potential antigen for a Covid-19 vaccine.

ZYUS is expected to leverage its biopharmaceutical plant technology platform and expertise to develop and express the protein.

The company intends to isolate the potential protein in its plant expression system and deliver insights into the possibility of producing plant-based antigens that can be used in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

In addition, ZYUS intends to extract adequate specific protein to determine its effectiveness in animal models of Covid-19 for VIDO-InterVac, through its plant expressions system by mid-summer 2020.

VIDO-InterVac director Volker Gerdts said: “VIDO-InterVac’s vision is protecting Canada and the world from infectious diseases. Through this partnership, we are exploring alternative methods of antigen production with a goal to potentially expand global vaccine production capacity for Covid-19.”