Australian scientists are looking at a protein found in BREAST milk to help cure the coronavirus - as Queensland's billion-dollar vaccine is abandoned

 Australian scientists are researching whether a naturally occurring protein found in breast milk could help cure coronavirus as Queensland's potential vaccine was scrapped.

Lactoferrin is found in both human breast milk and cow's milk and is an immune system protein that stops virus cells from binding to receptors of human cells.

Some researchers are calling the protein 'pink gold' due to its light-pink colour and ability to potentially stop the virus in its tracks.

Freedom Foods has partnered with Hunter Medical Research Institute to conduct an analysis into the protein, supported by an innovation grant from the Federal Government.  

Lactoferrin is found in breast milk and is an immune system protein that inhibits virus cells from binding to receptors of human cells

Lactoferrin is found in breast milk and is an immune system protein that inhibits virus cells from binding to receptors of human cells

Head of Nutrition Science at Freedom Foods Sonja Kukuljan said the research into Lactoferrin is 'beyond exciting'

Head of Nutrition Science at Freedom Foods Sonja Kukuljan said the research into Lactoferrin is 'beyond exciting'

Head of Nutrition Science at Freedom Foods Sonja Kukuljan told Channel Nine's A Current Affair the research into Lactoferrin is 'beyond exciting'.

'Anything that can help manage the global pandemic of COVID is so important,' she said. 

Freedom Foods is responsible for producing ten per cent of the world's Lactoferrin stores, which is used in its baby formula.


Ms Kukuljan said Lactoferrin is very expensive just to have sitting around in a warehouse.

Dr Raymond Chang from Meridian Medical Group in the United States has also researched the protein as a potential preventative and treatment for COVID-19. 

'We know that is does work at least in a laboratory setting, it does work against other coronaviruses from the common cold to SARS-CoV-1,' Dr Raymond said.

Scientists found a protein in BREAST milk for covid-19 treatment
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Some researchers are calling the protein 'pink gold' due to its light-pink colour and ability to stop the virus from binding to human cells

Some researchers are calling the protein 'pink gold' due to its light-pink colour and ability to stop the virus from binding to human cells

On Friday Australia's potential coronavirus vaccine was scrapped after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.  

The University of Queensland had been developing the vaccine in partnership with pharmaceutical company CSL and the government had ordered 51 million doses. 

But those plans have been abruptly halted over fears the false results could damage the public's confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination program. 

The government was left scrambling to make up the shortfall, ordering millions of potential doses in late-stage trials after the decision was made to pull the plug.

Australian vaccine scientist Nikolai Petrovsky had warned the government about the risk of including HIV in a vaccine months before the $1billion deal was signed.

On Friday Australia's potential coronavirus vaccine was scrapped after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results

On Friday Australia's potential coronavirus vaccine was scrapped after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results 

Australia's potential coronavirus vaccine has been scrapped after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results (pictured, the successful Pfizer vaccine)

Australia's potential coronavirus vaccine has been scrapped after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results (pictured, the successful Pfizer vaccine)

He said the problem with the use of HIV was clear in the 'hamster and mouse data' but his advice was ignored. 

Mr Petrovsky told The Australian the issues were with the level of antibodies they were generating against the clamp which were against HIV.

He said the early data suggested the vaccine itself was quite unstable. 

'Overall it just didn't look like it was going to be a successful vaccine, that's why we were surprised when the government committed millions of dollars to it, it just seemed disproportionate.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed on Friday he urgently ordered more of two other vaccines currently in late-stage trials.

The government secured an extra 20 million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, taking the total to 53.8 million, and an extra 11 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, taking the total doses of that jab to 51 million.

The vaccine, which used the COVID-19 spike protein and a 'molecular clamp', also featured an HIV protein fragment (Pictured: Staff at CSL are seen working in the lab on November 8)

The vaccine, which used the COVID-19 spike protein and a 'molecular clamp', also featured an HIV protein fragment (Pictured: Staff at CSL are seen working in the lab on November 8)

The UQ vaccine was still in the trial phase, but it was hoped it would be rolled out across Australia by mid-2021

The UQ vaccine was still in the trial phase, but it was hoped it would be rolled out across Australia by mid-2021

CSL said the vaccine was safe and was proving effective, but that 'significant changes would be needed to HIV testing procedures in the healthcare setting to accommodate the rollout of this vaccine'.

The UQ vaccine was still in the trial phase, but it was hoped it would be rolled out across Australia by mid-2021. 

The vaccine, which used the COVID-19 spike protein and a 'molecular clamp', featured an HIV protein fragment. 

The fragment posed 'absolutely no health risk to people' but was producing a partial antibody response in some participants, resulting in false positive tests for the virus.

It is understood health department secretary Brendan Murphy and acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, had reviewed the findings this week and recommended ending the deal. 

Both UQ and CSL will continue their research which they hope will help develop other vaccines in the future.    

The University of Queensland had been developing the vaccine in partnership with pharmaceutical company CSL - and the government had ordered 51 million doses (Pictured: A scientist at the university working on the vaccine earlier this year)

The University of Queensland had been developing the vaccine in partnership with pharmaceutical company CSL - and the government had ordered 51 million doses (Pictured: A scientist at the university working on the vaccine earlier this year)

Australian scientists are looking at a protein found in BREAST milk to help cure the coronavirus - as Queensland's billion-dollar vaccine is abandoned Australian scientists are looking at a protein found in BREAST milk to help cure the coronavirus - as Queensland's billion-dollar vaccine is abandoned Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:36 Rating: 5

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