QUEBEC CITY, July 15 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX-V: MDG) today announced
that it will conduct a feasibility study in collaboration with Genopole
biopark, in Evry, for the establishment of a vaccine production facility in
France. Medicago has obtained a grant from the Quebec Ministry of Economic
Development, Innovation and Export Trade to finance 40% of the study. The
study will be conducted by SNC Lavalin with the assistance of Medicago and the
"Medicago's proprietary plant-based vaccine development and production
technologies can deliver large volumes of vaccines, just one month after the
identification of genetic sequences from an emerging pandemic strain. This
rapid time frame is critical as it could allow the vaccination of a population
before the first wave of the pandemic strikes," said Andy Sheldon, President
and CEO of Medicago. "As we are able to rapidly produce new vaccines in large
quantities, we have been in discussions with several countries in Europe, Asia
and Africa for the establishment of partnerships to create domestic vaccine
production infrastructures based on Medicago's technologies."
"In particular, we are excited to be exploring this opportunity in
greater detail in France, where the objective is to establish a facility that
offers surge capacity to produce pandemic vaccine doses and eventually other
biodefense related products, as well as offering bioproduction services to
local companies. We expect to complete all necessary studies by the end of
2008 and greatly appreciate the support of the Quebec government for our
efforts to commercialize this technology globally," added Mr. Sheldon.
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.
About Genopole d'Evry
Genopole(R) is the leading French science park dedicated to life
sciences. Its campus - near Paris - combines academic and private research
laboratories, university/higher education facilities, biotechnology companies,
and an incubator for biotech start-ups. Genopole(R) proposes the key benefits
of a rich and well-equipped environment: a high-level, multidisciplinary
research cluster in genomics and related sciences, a prosperous industrial
fabric and cutting-edge, shared-access infrastructure.
Genopole's priority is to promote therapy-focused biotech by providing
optimal conditions for company growth and progress in research, the
development of large-scale biological activities and to make France a major
competitor in the world of science and industry.
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.
The TSX Venture Exchange assumes no responsibility for the content or
accuracy of this press release.
For further information:
For further information: Medicago, Inc., Andy Sheldon, President and
CEO, (418) 658-9393; Investor relations: The Equicom Group Inc., Arianna
Vanin, (514) 844-4680, email@example.com