Saskatoon company nearing completion of plant-based COVID-19 vaccine

A plant-based COVID-19 vaccine could become a reality next year.

The CEO of Saskatoon-based ZYUS Life Sciences, Brent Zettl, says through their partnership with VIDO-Intervac on the University of Saskatchewan campus, pre-clinical trials on animals will begin early next year.

The proteins in vaccines are usually animal-based, so this model would be unique.

Zettl says they have done tests of the antigen that is the basis of the vaccine against an antibody that is recognized as a threat, and it was successful.

Even though Pfizer already has a COVID-19 vaccine and other companies are closer to the finish line, Zettl says the research continues because it sets a baseline for future work, should another pandemic come around.

In other words, it gives ZYUS some valued experience in the process of making vaccines.

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