Cows may hold the key to slowing coronavirus

South Dakota News

DONAHUE, Iowa (WQAD) — A biotech company in South Dakota says it could hold the key to help fight the coronavirus. Cows’ antibodies could help slow the spread of infection in humans.

These ladies’ antibodies could be the newest weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

Dairy farmer, John Maxwell says he’s proud to be part of the silage munching new recruits.

“We’re excited here to be part of what could be a vaccine for COVID-19,” says John.

While an unlikely source, John says the solution could be right here on our family farms.

“The solution is right here at Cinnamon Ridge with the cows.”

The antibodies from the cows could help fight off the infection and speed up the recovery period.

Dr. Ryan Schaefer, a veterinarian at Walcott Veterinary Clinic says, “They engineer the animals so they actually produce human immune cells, and then they are basically vaccinating those cows with COVID, and then turning around and collecting the plasma from those cows and getting the antibodies.”

SAb Biotherapeutics in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the brains behind the science. Dr. Ryan says antibody testing is different to finding a vaccine.

“The antibodies are already produced and they are going to attack that cell if somebody is infected,” he says.

Versus a vaccine, which requires your body to make antibodies to ward off infection.

“Cows’ antibodies would come in first to at least help because you don’t need to produce that antibody right away,” says Dr. Ryan.

Meaning the quiet, doe-eyed Jersey girls at Cinnamon Ridge could help save lives during the pandemic.

The biotech company plans to begin clinical trials in the coming months.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.