TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - With the largest international conference on
influenza getting underway in Toronto today, Microbix Biosystems Inc. of
Toronto is anticipating that its flu vaccine yield enhancement discovery will
be the subject of some considerable interest among the 1,500 delegates from
all over the world.
Microbix announced late last month that the U.S. Patent Office has
indicated that it intends to issue a patent to the company on this technology.
As well, Microbix' discovery was recently reported in Vaccine, an
international, peer-reviewed scientific journal.
"There has already been a lot of interest expressed as a result of our
announcement last month, and we're looking forward to talking with vaccine
manufacturers, public health officials and government representatives at the
conference," said Microbix CEO William J. Gastle.
Delegates attending Options for the Control of Influenza at the Metro
Toronto Convention Centre, June 18-22, are leaders in the control, prevention,
diagnosis, and treatment of influenza.
Microbix' technology significantly boosts influenza vaccine production
output. As a result of this discovery, there is now a relatively fast, simple,
and cost-effective way to potentially double the amount of flu vaccine
manufactured each year. The discovery has enormous implications for defending
the human population from the next deadly outbreak of influenza.
The World Health Organization, in its Global Vaccine Action Plan, noted
that if an influenza pandemic were to occur, the potential vaccine supply
would fall far short of the amount needed. Annual global flu vaccine
production capacity is currently about 350 million doses. Among all the
strategies outlined in the WHO's Action Plan, increased production yields was
identified as "the most direct mechanism to make more doses available." The
Microbix process, if adopted worldwide, would increase capacity to at least
700 million doses.
The Microbix technology has been validated in independent testing. A
study led by Dr. Todd Hatchette, Director of Virology and Immunology at the
Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, confirmed that the
process doubled the amount of virus recovered.
Gastle noted that the company's yield enhancement technology can be
implemented by manufacturers in less than a year, and could even be in place
in time for the flu season in 2008. "We're eager to play a role in extending
vital vaccine protection to many millions of people around the world," he
The Options conference is taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention
Centre, North Building Exhibit Hall A, B, and C. Microbix' booth is No. 2314.
Microbix specializes in developing proprietary biological technologies,
including biotherapeutic drugs, vaccine technologies and animal reproduction
technologies. It has been researching and developing the flu vaccine yield
enhancement technology for a number of years, with a team at the company's
Toronto laboratories spearheading these efforts. The company's shares are
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and its stock symbol is MBX.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject
to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements such as the
risks associated with licensing the technology to vaccine manufacturers. These
forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of
this press release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update
these forward-looking statements.
For further information:
For further information: about the company and its flu vaccine yield
enhancement technology, please visit www.microbix.com or contact William J.
Gastle, CEO, Microbix, (416) 234-1624 x 230; Dena Fehir, PR POST, (416)