QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX-V: 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 been awarded a proof of concept contract by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command laboratory specifically the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center ("ECBC") Research & Technology Directorate. Medicago will work with ECBC to investigate the affordable production of industrial enzymes in the field of biofuels. This new project builds on Medicago's proprietary plant-based manufacturing platform and its potential for applications beyond the biological drug market.
"While we remain focused on advancing our core influenza programs, biotechnology markets are quickly evolving and offer new opportunities to increase shareholder value," said Louis P. Vézina, Chief Scientific Officer of Medicago. "The world enzyme market is currently estimated to be worth US$4 billion and is projected to increase 5.7% per year. Moreover, the high cost of enzymes is a major hurdle in the production of biofuels using biomass. We believe our manufacturing platform could be suitable for the production of affordable enzymes as plants are uniquely capable of efficient protein expression at high yields and low costs. We look forward to playing a role in the U.S. Army's efforts to accelerate the economical production of biofuels."
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 press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect Medicago's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those projected herein. Medicago disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE Medicago Inc.
For further information: For further information: Medicago, Inc., Andy Sheldon, President and CEO, (418) 658-9393; Medicago Inc., Arianna Vanin, Director, Investor Relations, (514) 796-3993