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Thunder Bay company developing COVID-19 antibody treatment nasal spray

Jun 20, 2020 05:39AM ● By Editor

Photo: Thunder Bay Television

By Alejandra Palacios of WDIO-TV - June 19, 2020

A breakthrough with COVID-19 may soon hit the market. A company in Thunder Bay is collaborating with a research organization in Michigan called MMS Holdings for a COVID-19 antibody nasal spray treatment.

While we continue waiting on a vaccine for COVID-19, across the northern border, Thunder Bay's IGY Life Sciences, a biotechnology company, is working on a nasal spray to help COVID-19 patients.

"We know structurally that the antibody is very safe to use. Putting it into the nose will be sort of a novel approach," said Terry Dyck, the president/CEO of IGY Life Sciences.

Dyck explained that they are using an antibody found in chicken egg yolk known as IgY which stands for immunoglobulin, to develop a COVID-19 therapeutic treatment called IgY-110.

"Our technology allows us to purify the antibodies to keep them alive and not denature them in the process in large quantities. We're talking kilogram quantities, thousands of kilogram quantities of antibodies," said Dyck.

Dyck said the nasal spray is meant to treat those currently infected with COVID-19 by controlling and blocking the spread of the coronavirus.

"These antibodies are going to help your immune system and stabilize your own immune system. It then allows your body's innate immune system to pick up and build your own immunity towards the coronavirus antibody," said Dyck.

Dyck said the spray is currently being tested at the Canadian Government National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He says the treatment is meant to be complementary to any vaccine developed for COVID-19.

"It's certainly going to be very cost effective I think the target market for us at this point is looking to work with governments to get it into hospitals and clinics," said Dyck.

IGY Life Sciences hopes to have it in the market by next year.

"We would produce it for a global audience. Our facility right now that is in the construction phase would be able to produce about 100 million units," said Dyck.

Dyck said the second goal is to test the antibody to be cross protective towards other forms of coronavirus.

He said the product has a long shelf life and could be a good candidate for pandemic preparedness for governments to buy and stockpile.

"When the next coronavirus wave comes, they seem to be coming every seven years, then you would have those antibodies, they're ready. We wouldn't be shutting down global economies like we have in the past number of months," said Dyck.

To see the original story and related articles, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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