• Growth industry

    Growth industry

    Technology developed by a South African biotech company will be used internationally in the commercial production of COVID-19 antibody test kits.

    Cape Biologix Technologies, the local manufacturing subsidiary of Cape Bio Pharms, itself a spin-off of the University of Cape Town, is collaborating with Canada-based biopharmaceutical company PlantForm Corporation and vertical-farming technology firm Inno-3B to extract, purify and manufacture its plant-based SARS-COV-2 antigen for use as the reagent in rapid diagnostic antibody test kits.

    Belinda Shaw, Cape Biologix CEO, says the end-product is a simple finger-prick blood test that will detect whether a person has antibodies against the virus in their blood. The test is designed to provide results within 15 minutes. ‘This tells us whether a person’s body has mounted an immune response against the virus, indicating that they have been exposed to COVID-19, within five to eight days of infection.’

    According to a statement by PlantForm, the partnership aims to provide a fast, low-cost and accurate plant-based protein for COVID-19 monitoring and surveillance tools. Inno-3B and PlantForm will use the technology developed by Cape Bio Pharms to produce the plant-based SARS-COV-2 antigen at their respective Canadian facilities in Saint-Pacôme, Quebec and Bolton in Ontario.

    8 December 2020
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