In the 1960’s, Dr. Gustavo Bounous, a surgeon originally from Italy, initiated research studies in the United States examining the course of recovery in post-surgical patients. He noted that seemingly similar patients could have vastly different outcomes and recovery from their procedures. He then focused on the theory that it could be what was in their normal daily food intake that was causing the differences.
Due to an expired work visa, he was forced to leave the USA. He restarted his research in Canada, he aimed to discover which foods could impact healing and recovery in humans; soon after, it became clear that protein was a key factor.
In Dr. Bounous’ course of investigation, it became apparent that certain proteins and amino acids were having effects on immune responses. Having no formal background in immunology, he sought out a partner to expand on this thesis. He found the perfect match. Dr. Patricia Kongshavn, an up-and-coming PhD at McGill University at the time who played a critical pioneering role in the new field of clinical immunology. Together, the two published their first joint article in 1978, ‘The Effect of Dietary Amino Acids on Immune Reactivity.’
The quest to find an effective protein that would enhance immune function continued for Drs. Bounous and Kongshavn. By great fortune, a protein extract was sent to Dr. Bounous to be examined for its potential benefits. At the time, the protein was a near-worthless byproduct of the dairy industry.
This protein extract demonstrated spectacular effects after testing. Its immune system effects were noteworthy enough to allow human studies, proving to be successful and leading to a company being formed to focus on furthering this research.
Immunotec was officially launched in 1996 (Canada) and 1997 (United States). A commitment was made to reinvest a significant proportion of profits back into research.
John Molson was named Vice President of Research & Development, making tremendous strides in securing high-level research partners worldwide. Under his direction, the studies rapidly accumulated and established this natural protein isolate as one of the most promising supplements with research validation. Immunocal was then listed in the American PDR (Physicians' Desk Reference) and the Canadian CPS (Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties).