SAB Biotherapeutics Expanding Facility to Canton

CANTON, S.D.- A Sioux Falls biopharmaceutical company is expanding on an 80-acre property near Canton. It’ll be home to cattle, but it’s not your typical farm. The animals could help people fight off diseases.

Earlier Thursday morning, SAB Biotherapeutics broke ground in Canton, where a building is going up that will house the company’s transgenic cattle. SAB says the animals produce human antibodies that can be used in people as treatments for diseases.

“We take the human antibodies and we are able to extract those out of the plasma and we use that as a human pharmaceutical,” says SAB Biotherapeutics President and CEO, Eddie Sullivan.

Some of the target diseases the company has worked on are Ebola, MERS, Zika, and influenza– with a couple treatments currently in clinical trials. Other areas of focus for treatment the company focuses on are cancer, auto immune, inflammation, and toxins.

Now, SAB wants to continue its progress closer to home. The company is moving its cattle currently stationed in Sioux City 80 miles north to the Canton area near company headquarters in Sioux Falls. Phase one of the project is expected to be finished by the end of the year. A four-building complex will open up for 35-head of cattle and four full-time employees.

“We think South Dakota is the prime location for being able to do this kind of work. Particularly because it is a state where agriculture is important,” says Sullivan.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says the work the company is doing is making an impact in the biotechnology industry and that will bring benefits to the state as well.

“So this is the first of its kind and the fact that it’s happening right here in South Dakota, is very exciting,” says Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Experts in the field say the work the company is doing is unique and could make a difference worldwide.

“That they can respond to those kinds of diseases really quickly and really effectively. That puts it on a global stage to deal with things in the future,” says Washington D.C. Senior Director of BIO, Dan Jenkins.

“We want to be able to rapidly respond and provide a solution that can help people and save lives,” says Sullivan.

Phase 2 of the project will include 4 more buildings with around 40 employees and 500 cattle. This is the first facility designed specifically for the cattle.