Immune Biosolutions, DIEX Recherche, Université de Sherbrooke and Keyrus Life Science Partner up to Fight COVID-19
Sherbrooke, le 20 avril 2020 – Immune Biosolutions, Diex Research, Keyrus Life Science and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke (FMSS) are joining forces to discover and develop innovative solutions against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Under the leadership of Immune Biosolutions, a biotechnology company from the Université de Sherbrooke ecosystem, a team came together in collaboration with several research groups and more than a dozen private and public organizations to identify therapeutic antibodies from blood samples from recovered patients. These efforts could lead to the development of coronavirus immunotherapy as well as better diagnostic tools. This discovery program is part of a series of initiatives to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the next few days, recovered patients with the required criteria will be recruited for blood donation. Immune Biosolutions and its collaborators are hoping to identify neutralizing antibodies that can stop the COVID-19 infection among the B Lymphocytes present in these blood samples. The potential antibodies will be characterized and tested in various infection models in the coming weeks. The antibodies identified as having the best therapeutic potential will be produced on a large scale to start a clinical trial in the upcoming year.
The team can count on the expertise and collaboration of Dr. Alex Carignan, microbiologist, infectious disease specialist as well as university professor and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke and at CHUS research center. Since the beginning of the crisis, Dr. Carignan has put his expertise at the service of Quebeckers by responding daily to their questions and concerns via various media in Quebec, in addition to continuing his daily practice at the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS. "We are confident that we will be able to rapidly develop specific antibodies in order to introduce not only a treatment solution against COVID-19, but also avenues that will allow us to make better diagnoses and treatments to fight future viruses," said Dr. Carignan.
About Immune Biosolutions
Immune Biosolutions is a biotechnology company specializing in the discovery, engineering and development of humanized chicken antibodies that target difficult membrane proteins with confirmed therapeutic potential. Immune Biosolutions is currently developing immunotherapies for the treatment of infectious diseases and several types of cancer. In addition, Immune Biosolutions collaborates with several international biopharmaceutical companies to fulfill its mission of improving human and animal health and improving patient prognoses around the world.
About DIEX Recherche
Diex Research Group has been located in Quebec, Victoriaville and Sherbrooke for almost 15 years and has achieved worldwide recognition. It aims to bring innovative and preventive research treatments to the local population. Diex works on different levels, such as Alzheimer's disease, women's health, diabetes, skin diseases, vaccination and many others. DIEX cares deeply about the health of the population - in these times of pandemic more than ever. Its health professionals will work alongside other Quebec companies to quickly find solutions for COVID-19. The 3 DIEX clinics will recruit adults who tested positive for COVID-19 and who no longer have symptoms in order to draw a blood sample for the identification of antibodies.
About the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke (FMSS)
The FMSS is known for its exceptional work and study environment. Having always had both the Faculty of Medicine and a university hospital in one place, it now offers more than 100 study programs in Sherbrooke, Longueuil, Saguenay and Moncton, all anchored in the needs of the communities in which it operates. Regardless of this remarkable growth, it has managed to maintain a flexibility that fosters innovation in teaching and research.
About Dr Alex Carignan
Dr. Carignan is a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the CIUSSS of Estrie-CHUS and university professor and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke and at the CHUS Research Center. Dr. Carignan is a grant clinical researcher at the Fonds de recherche Santé Québec. His research focuses primarily on the epidemiology of emerging infections in Quebec and on immunization.
About Keyrus Life Science
Keyrus Life Science (formerly MedQualis) is an innovative contract research company located in Montreal. It brings together industry expertise, life data science and digital activation to take full advantage of clinical research and real data in healthcare. Keyrus Life Science brings its 20 years of experience in critical clinical research and management and monitoring to the project.
Adults with a positive diagnosis who are interested in participating should consult diex.ca or call 1 844-739-3439.
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Université de Sherbrooke
Dr Alex Carignan, microbiologist, infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist | Specialist Lecturer | Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Frédéric Leduc, CEO et co-founder
Stacey Keet, General Manager
Keyrus Life Science
Jean-Francois Belanger, Business Development Manager – North America