Birmingham Tech Used to Help Produce a COVID-19 Vaccine

TriAltus Bioscience LLC’s protein purification technology — licensed by the University of Alabama in Birmingham — is being used to support research into a COVID-19 vaccine.

TriAltus, based in Birmingham, developed its “ultra-high affinity CL7/lm7 system” to isolate and purify the Spike protein (S-protein) from the SARS-COV2 virus and bind it to ELISA plates. The SARS-COV2 virus is said to be the cause of COVID-19 disease. It is thought the S-protein helps the Covid-19 virus attach to and infect human cells.

Researchers at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute, are using the TriAltus technology to fast-track development of an ELISA test to monitor antibody responses to SARS-COV2 in patients who will receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re in a race to develop this vaccine as quickly as possible, so it’s important to have technology that helps us isolate and purify the S-protein for time-critical research,” said Hong-Ming Hu, associate member of the Cancer Immunobiology Laboratory at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute in Oregon.

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The Chiles Research Institute is working with biotech company OncoSec, UbiVac and the National Institutes of Health on a vaccine. If all goes as expected, vaccine trials could begin in May.

“Our CL7/lm7 system is helping Dr. Hu and his colleagues attain high protein purity in a single-step process that saves critical time and boosts research productivity,” said TriAltus CEO Bob Shufflebarger.

TriAltus’ Activated lm7 Resin has been used to purify a variety of proteins and is capable of up to 100 reactivations without loss of activity.

The CL7 technology was invented by a team led by Dmitry Vassylyev, TriAltus co-founder and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. TriAltus holds the exclusive worldwide license to the CL7 protein purification technology platform, which was licensed from UAB in 2018.

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