WARF: P120329US01

SIgA Protein as Heath Supplement for Animals, Humans


Mark Cook, Jordan Sand

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a commercial source of secretory immunoglobulin A to boost animal growth, fight gastrointestinal inflammation and treat other disorders related to deficiency.
OVERVIEWSecretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) plays a critical role in immunity. The protein is found in breast milk and secreted in the gastrointestinal system during development and adulthood. Research suggests that animals and humans deprived of sIgA due to early weaning or health defect are at higher risk for disorders like celiac disease, skin allergy and inflammatory bowel disease.

At present there is no method for harvesting large quantities of sIgA. To be useful as a commercial health supplement, the protein must be directly obtained from an animal source at high purity and low cost.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a method for producing large quantities of animal- and human-grade sIgA. The protein is isolated from the intestinal fluid/lining of swine or cows, enriched and purified. The process is similar to how heparin, the common anticoagulant, is produced.
  • New source of sIgA for health applications
  • Could be administered to animals to increase growth rate, improve feed efficiency and fight gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Could be administered to humans to correct sIgA deficiency or treat disease (e.g., atopic dermatitis, sepsis)
  • First known method of its kind
  • Yields large quantities of pure sIgA
  • Cost effective
  • Commercially viable
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe researchers are optimizing the extraction process and have demonstrated increased animal weight gain and feed efficiencies at commercially relevant levels. Researchers have also demonstrated use in the prevention and treatment of dermatological lesion in rodents and dogs.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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