BioZone researchers provide viral protein for development of new COVID-19 antibody test

Peter Stogios, Senior Researcher, BioZone

BioZone researchers are among key collaborators in the development of what is said to be the quickest, most accurate and most affordable COVID-19 antibody test currently available.

Supported by funding from the Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative (TCAI), BioZone supplied purified nucleocapsid protein to facilitate the work undertaken by Shawn Li at Western University to develop the rapid antibody test. Proteins play a critical role in antibody testing since the tests rely on detecting antibodies in the bloodstream that can neutralize the virus and block its action on the human body.

Since the early months of the pandemic, BioZone senior researcher, Peter Stogios and his team, have been rapidly purifying SARS-CoV-2 proteins in the hope of accelerating COVID-19 research around the world. The team and the Structural Genomics Consortium Toronto created the Toronto Open Access COVID-19 Protein Manufacturing Centre to produce SARS-CoV-2 proteins and distribute large quantities of viral proteins in rapid fashion, at no cost.

“The development of the antibody test at Western University is an excellent example of the benefit of having high-quality protein samples readily and rapidly available,” says Stogios. “When applying for the TCAI we envisioned the protein would be used for diagnostics development and we are very pleased that is exactly how it worked out.”

BioZone will continue to provide protein samples to researchers at Western University on an as-needed basis, as the test is still under peer review.  To request purified proteins, contact the Toronto Open Access COVID-19 Protein Manufacturing Centre.