ZYUS Collaborates with USask’s VIDO-InterVac to Develop a Plant-Based Vaccine for COVID-19

ZYUS Life Sciences to support research and development of a vaccine for COVID-19

SASKATOON, Canada I May 07, 2020 I ZYUS Life Sciences Inc. ("ZYUS"), a company dedicated to improving quality of life through research and leadership in bio-pharmaceuticals and the development of innovative cannabinoid-based formulations and product candidates, announced today that it is collaborating with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at the University of Saskatchewan, a world leader in developing vaccines and technologies against infectious diseases, to test plant produced antigens in a vaccine for COVID-19.

ZYUS will leverage its bio-pharmaceutical plant technology platform and expertise to develop and express a protein that VIDO-InterVac has identified as a potential antigen for a COVID-19 vaccine. This protein will be isolated by ZYUS in its plant expression system and will provide insights into whether plants can produce antigens that are usable in a COVID-19 vaccine.

“As Canada, and the world, face the challenges of COVID-19, we are proud to partner with VIDO-InterVac to provide Canadian leadership in the development of a vaccine,” said ZYUS CEO, Brent Zettl. “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 organization, 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.”

The approach is one of several that VIDO-InterVac is exploring in an effort to expand vaccine development against this novel coronavirus.

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

By mid-summer 2020, ZYUS plans to have extracted enough specific protein through its plant expressions system for VIDO-InterVac to determine its effectiveness in animal models of COVID-19.

About ZYUS Life Sciences Inc.

ZYUS is a Canadian-based life sciences company focused on the global development and commercialization of innovative cannabinoid-based therapeutics and product candidates. Through clinical research and IP development, we intend to deliver high-quality oils, gel-caps, topical creams and other cannabinoid-based therapeutics and product candidates to patients worldwide. The ZYUS vision is to elevate cannabinoids as a standard of care and expand the potential of protein-based formulations in pursuit of a transformational impact on patients’ lives. ZYUS: Advancing the Science of Well-Being. Visit www.zyus.com

About VIDO-InterVac, University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO-InterVac is internationally recognized for its role in vaccine development and is one of Canada’s national science facilities. VIDO-InterVac has a history of vaccine development and commercialization – eight of its vaccines have been sold commercially, and six have been described as world-firsts. VIDO-InterVac was created in 1975. The ~170-member organization operates using an ISO:9001 certified management system in state-of-the-art containment level 2 and 3 facilities. VIDO-InterVac receives operating support from the Government of Canada, and Government of Saskatchewan. Visit www.vido.org

SOURCE: Zyus Life Sciences

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