Medicago signs MOU with PT BIO FARMA for the development of vaccines in the Republic of Indonesia
QUEBEC CITY, June 14 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG), a biotechnology company focused on developing highly effective and affordable vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") with PT BIO FARMA (PERSERO) ("BIO FARMA") to identify and develop select vaccine targets of mutual interest with the final goal being to establish a partnership to build a Medicago plant-based manufacturing facility in The Republic of Indonesia. Initially Medicago and BIO FARMA will collaborate in design and conduct a proof of concept evaluation on Medicago's plant-based VLP technology for a selected vaccine target.
"This agreement confirms the suitability of our technology to support vaccine development in countries where manufacturing capacity is limited. Our offering of scalable, plant-based vaccines has the potential to provide an effective and economical solution within The Republic of Indonesia, a country of 232 million inhabitants," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago. "In addition, this collaboration will demonstrate the versatility of our technology as we expand our vaccine manufacturing platform to include other vaccine targets."
"Medicago's VLP technology has the ability to develop vaccines against emerging strains quicker and at a cost base more favourable than competitive technologies," said Iskandar, President Director of PT Bio Farma. "Their manufacturing facilities are portable by design and lend well to our strategy of manufacturing quality vaccines within our borders."
About BIO FARMA
BIO FARMA, a state owned enterprise in Indonesia, produces vaccines and sera to support the Expanded Program on Immunization in Indonesia and in other countries. BIO FARMA is also one of the few vaccine manufacturers in the world pre-qualified by World Health Organization and that is supplying the global market. Since 1997, the company has supplied vaccines to many countries through UNICEF, PAHO and other buyers. BIO FARMA is actively involved as member of international organizations, among others: the IVI (International Vaccine Institute), DCVMN (Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network), SRVP-IDB (Self Reliance on Vaccine Production) in Islamic Countries organized by Islamic Development Bank. At present, the production capacity has reached around 1.1 billion doses.
Medicago is committed to provide highly effective and affordable 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 24, 2010 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.
%SEDAR: 00023641EFFor further information: Medicago, Inc., Andy Sheldon, President and CEO, (418) 658-9393; Medicago Inc., Christina Cameron, Investor Relations Manager, (647) 962-9393