SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota Company is leading the way in a new type of treatment for viruses, including COVDID-19. SAB Biotherapeutics of Sioux Falls has developed a COVID-19 treatment that is currently in the FDA’s large-scale, phase three clinical trials, which means it could be widely available in the near future.

SAB-185 is an antibody therapy for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The product produces fully human polyclonal antibodies without the need for human donors. The research and manufacturing are being done right here in South Dakota. SAB-185 binds to the spike proteins on the COVID-19 virus that allow infection.

“This allows our product to do two things, first of all, block the virus from entering ourselves and secondly neutralizing and inactivating the virus actually killing it so that it can no longer reproduce,” said Eddie Sullivan, the co-founder, and President of SAB.

SAB actually started this project before the pandemic. In September of 2019, the government gave SAB a contract to develop and prepare a rapid and scalable response to a pandemic. About six months later, COVID-19 appeared and started killing people and a real pandemic was underway. The original project was supposed to take three years, but because of COVID-19, the government shifted everything into high gear.

“In March of 2020 they came to us and said everything we wanted you to do in three years, we’d like you to do in three weeks, and produce a fully human polyclonal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we went from a product concept to clinical trials in 128 days,” said Sullivan.

There’s no doubt that a facility like this, $200 million in funding is a source of pride not only for this company but for the state of South Dakota.

“Of course, being able to do this kind of advanced science and biopharmaceutical development in Sioux Falls is something frankly we’ve always known that we could do,” said Sullivan.

SAB isn’t stopping at COVID-19, there are other possibilities in the works including future treatments for the flu and even cancer involving full human antibodies.

Sullivan tells KELOLAND News his company will consider requesting emergency use authorization for SAB-185 once the large-scale, phase 3 trials are completed.