Preliminary research results from ZYUS Life Sciences show that plant-based antigens are reactive to anti-COVID-19 antibodies and potentially offer immunity from COVID-19

SASKATOON, Canada I July 15, 2020 I ZYUS Life Sciences Inc. (“ZYUS”), a company dedicated to improving quality of life through research and leadership in bio-pharmaceuticals and cannabinoid-based formulations, announced today that it has reached a positive milestone in the development of COVID-19 vaccine components by achieving plant-based expression, isolation, and purification of a potential antigen for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – providing proof of concept for plant-based COVID-19 antigen production.

Over the past months, ZYUS researchers have been working to determine whether plants can offer an alternative method of antigen production to traditional production methods for vaccines. Plant-based antigen production, leveraging ZYUS’ proprietary bio-technology platform, offers the potential to produce large quantities of vaccine-quality antigens rapidly and efficiently.

Key ZYUS research and development achievements include:

  • Successful expression of a protein found on the outer surface of the virus responsible for COVID-19 in Nicotiana benthamiana, a variety of the tobacco plant, demonstrating ZYUS’ ability to engineer the production of the protein in plants.
  • Successful extraction of the protein from plants and pilot-scale purification, establishing that it is possible to purify the protein from plants using ZYUS’ plant expression technology.
  • Meaningful recovery of the protein from plants, establishing that ZYUS’ plant expression technology offers an efficient means of protein production relative to the starting amount of plant material.
  • Tested and demonstrated that the plant-based SARS-CoV-2 protein is recognised by antibodies in the serum of recovered COVID-19 patients, suggesting that plant-based protein, in this form of a vaccine, could potentially provide protection from COVID-19 infection.

“Rapid production of large quantities of an antigen with suitable purity and quality is a critical step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19,” said Brent Zettl, ZYUS CEO. “These preliminary test results are an important step forward, offering scientists and researchers more options to scale vaccine production in the global fight against COVID-19.”

ZYUS intends to provide its research collaborators, the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), with enough purified protein to formulate and test the vaccine’s effectiveness in animal models in the coming weeks.

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

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

SOURCE: ZYUS Life Sciences