Antibodies from chicken eggs become focus
Biotech company IRI Separation Technologies (IRI) has signed a distribution agreement to allow the firm to fully focus on the extraction of antibodies from eggs.
Two major operations are run by the company, namely an egg-breaking facility where eggs are washed and separated for regular distribution as a bakery ingredient, and a separation facility where antibodies are extracted from egg yolk.
Vanderpol’s Eggs Ltd (VEL) is now in a new distribution agreement with the company to take over distribution and sale of all liquid and frozen egg products from its Airdrie egg-breaking facility.
This will allow IRI to focus on its separation operations, which is the core part of its business. The company, which specialises in the extraction of polyclonal immunoglobulin antibodies, said it will continue to use egg yolk from its egg breaking facility, which will be transferred to the company’s separation plant for extraction. These antibodies that are derived from the chicken eggs are intended for use as a nutraceutical for human consumption.
Immunoglobulins (Ig) are powerful antibodies produced in healthy humans and other animals to fight infections and prevent disease. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) accounts for 75% of the total immunoglobulin found in the plasma of healthy individuals. However, another class of immunoglobulin – IgY – is found in egg yolks and is the functional equivalent of IgG.
The company intends to market the ingredient for use in foods – initially as a yolk protein isolate. It ultimately plans to take it to natural health products that can make health claims, but said that it will take some time to receive necessary regulatory approvals.