Research Triangle Park News
Medicago holds official ribbon cutting ceremony for its U.S. plant-based vaccine facility
PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTED BY MEDICAGO, INC.
Medicago U.S.A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Medicago Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing highly effective and affordable vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced that company executives, along with North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, U.S. Senator Richard Burr and Congressman David Price, are holding an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, November 14th at 11am for its U.S. plant-based vaccine facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The Company initially announced on September 13, 2011 that it commenced operations at this 97,000-square-foot vaccine facility.
With this ribbon cutting ceremony, Medicago U.S.A. will officially open its state-of-the-art vaccine facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. This VLP plant-based vaccine facility includes a fully automated greenhouse and a state of the art extraction and purification unit. The facility is targeted to produce 10 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine per month. On an annual basis, the facility will have the production capacity of 40 million doses of seasonal Influenza vaccine or 120 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine.
About Medicago USA - DARPA Agreement
Medicago previously signed a US$21M Technology Investment Agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a 97,000-square-foot vaccine facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. This state of-the-art facility is a large, cost-effective and scaled-up facility for Medicago's VLP plant-based vaccine technology ultimately for the delivery of current good manufacturing practice (cGMP)-grade vaccine. Medicago intends to demonstrate its capacity to produce 10 million doses/month of influenza vaccines with the potential for further expansion in the future. This DARPA project is part of the Blue Angel influenza vaccine rapid response demonstration project which seeks to identify new ways to produce large amounts of high quality vaccine grade protein in less than 3 months in response to emerging and novel biologic threats.
About Medicago's Clinical Program
The Company reported positive phase II results for its clinical trial with its H5N1 avian influenza vaccine in June 2011. The vaccine was found to be safe, well tolerated and also induced a solid immune response which is among the most effective of the industry. The Company also recently reported positive U.S. phase I results in its clinical trial with its H1N1 / seasonal influenza vaccine candidate. All tested doses were found safe and well-tolerated. A single dose of 5 µg met the 3 CHMP (The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use) immunogenicity criteria. This phase I trial is expected to lead to Medicago's U.S. phase IIa trial for its seasonal trivalent vaccine with the recommended H1N1, H3N2 and B influenza strains.
Medicago is committed to provide highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary Virus-Like Particle (VLP) and manufacturing technologies. Medicago is developing VLP vaccines to protect against H5N1 pandemic influenza, using a transient expression system which produces recombinant vaccine antigens in non-transgenic plants. This technology has potential to offer advantages of speed and cost over competitive technologies. It could deliver a vaccine for testing in about a month after the identification and reception of genetic sequences from a pandemic strain. This production time frame has the potential to allow vaccination of the population before the first wave of a pandemic strikes and to supply large volumes of vaccine antigens to the world market. Additional information about Medicago is available at www.medicago.com .
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with Medicago's business and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", and similar expressions to the extent they relate to Medicago or its management. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but reflect Medicago's current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including the matters discussed under "Risks Factors and Uncertainties" in Medicago's Annual Information Form filed on March 31, 2011 with the regulatory authorities. Medicago assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.