Medicago Receives Support from the Government of Canada for Influenza Vaccine Programs
QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG) (OTCQX: MDCGF), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced that it has been awarded a non-refundable contribution of up to $493,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). The funding will support the development of new potency assays and process analytical technologies for Medicago's pandemic and seasonal influenza VLP vaccine candidates.
"The development of the best assays that can ensure rapid release and availability of our influenza vaccine candidates aligns well with our strategy to deliver highly effective vaccines in the quickest possible manner," said Andy Sheldon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Medicago. "This contribution continues to demonstrate our long-standing relationship with NRC IRAP. We would sincerely like to thank them for their continued support and encouragement of Medicago."
The rapid release of vaccines is a current challenge in the influenza industry given that vaccine manufacturers are required to wait for several weeks following the identification of a new strain until the virus and antibody reagents are produced and released by reference laboratories. This results in limitations for the rapid availability of human influenza vaccines. In addition, current regulatory guidelines recommend that process analytical technologies are developed to ensure quality and reproducibility in the production of complex biological therapeutics such as vaccines. Medicago will work with NRC teams in Montreal and Ottawa to establish assays for more rapid lot release and a better in-process control. NRC possesses unique expertise that could be used to address these two technical challenges.
Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel vaccines and therapeutic proteins to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide. The Company is committed to providing highly effective and competitive vaccines and therapeutic proteins based on its proprietary VLP and manufacturing technologies. Medicago is a worldwide leader in the development of VLP vaccines using a transient expression system which produces recombinant vaccine antigens in plants. This technology has potential to offer more potent vaccines with speed and cost advantages over competitive technologies, enabling the development of a vaccine for testing in approximately one 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, and supply large volumes of vaccine antigens to the world market. Medicago also intends to expand development into other areas such as biosimilars and biodefense products where the benefits of our technologies can make a significant difference. Additional information about Medicago is available at www.medicago.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information for the purposes of applicable securities laws and such statements and information 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 "Risk Factors and Uncertainties" in Medicago's Annual Information Form filed on March 29, 2012, 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.
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