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Business & Economics

Sioux Falls company testing COVID-19 treatment goes public

Eddie Sullivan, CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics
SDPB
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Eddie Sullivan, CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics

A Sioux Falls-based company is celebrating its new public status as it continues to test its COVID-19 treatments.

"In order for us to execute on our plan and continuing to develop these products, this was an important step for us," said Eddie Sullivan, CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics.

The company merged with Big Cypress Acquisition Corporation last week, according to a news release. SAB earned about $30 million from the deal. That number represents the gross proceeds after redemptions and before deducting transaction fees.

Big Cypress Acquisition Corporation is a Florida-based special purpose acquisition company – or SPAC – that specializes in biopharmacy firms.

A SPAC is a company that raises money to buy other companies. The merger allows SAB to access more capital and be publicly traded.

SAB began trading its common stocks and warrants on the NASDAQ Monday under the SABS and SABSW ticker symbols.

SAB Biotherapeutics has gained attention for using cattle to produce human antibodies that treat patients.

It recently graduated from Phase Two clinical trials, which tested the safety and effect of the treatment. Phase Three focuses on the same issues but with a larger population.

The treatment is being given to COVID-19 patients at dozens of sites across the country, Sullivan said. The company is also in Phase Two trials for flu prevention and treatment.

Sullivan said SAB has received $203 million in federal funding since Sept. 2019 — before the pandemic began. It was originally for research on pandemics and new diseases.

"When the pandemic hit then they asked us to accelerate that and actually to respond to the real-world issue at hand which was the COVID-19 pandemic," Sullivan said.

The stockholders of Big Cypress approved the SAB Biotherapeutics merger on Oct. 20 after it was approved by SAB's stockholders. The two companies began working on the deal this summer.

Sullivan will continue to serve as the president and CEO of SAB.

Samuel Reich, former CEO and CFO of Big Cyprus, will serve as the executive chairman of the SAB Board of Directors. Jeffrey Spragens, former chairman of the Big Cyprus board, is also joining the SAB board.