Medicago to collaborate with Tabuk for commercial development of influenza vaccines in Saudi Arabia and other territories



    QUEBEC CITY, QC, Sept. 2 /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 signed a Letter of Intent
("LOI") with Tabuk Pharmaceuticals ("Tabuk") to negotiate an agreement to
develop, produce and commercialize Medicago's influenza VLP-based vaccines in
Saudi Arabia and other territories in the Middle East and North Africa. Tabuk
is the second largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Saudi Arabia. Under the
terms of the LOI, the parties will collaborate to identify the interest of
targeted governments and will select an optimal deal structure with the
objective of establishing a commercial partnership within 12 months.
    "While we continue to aggressively move forward with the development of
our influenza vaccine candidates, we continue to seek out commercial
opportunities that allow us to exploit our proprietary manufacturing
solution," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago. "Our plant-based
manufacturing platform has the potential to improve the speed, capacity and
cost of influenza vaccine production and allow governments to effectively
enhance their pandemic plans."
    "With the recent approval we received to commence human clinical testing
with our avian flu pandemic vaccine, we are now in a better position to
explore different deal structures and markets to commercialize our vaccine
candidates," said Frederic Ors, VP Business Development of Medicago. "A
successful Phase I clinical trial should allow us to formalize our recently
executed country agreements and realize the value of our proprietary
technology."
    "Medicago's novel vaccine technology and rapid response manufacturing
solution coupled with Tabuk's strong marketing, sales and distribution network
makes for a compelling collaboration," said Rana Azzam, Director Business
Development of Tabuk.

    About Tabuk

    Tabuk Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company is a fully owned subsidiary of
Astra Industrial Group- AIG (one of the biggest industrial groups in the
Middle East region). Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with GMP
facilities in Tabuk city, the company has strong presence across the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA), Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and a promising
outlook in Western Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the
USA. TABUK has also established strong relations with companies from all over
the World mainly in the field of in-licensing of unique originator and generic
products.

    About Medicago

    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.

    
    Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as
    that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts
    responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release
    

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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

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