Medicago USA receives third milestone payment of US$5.6 million from the U.S. Department of Defense

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE, DISTRIBUTION UNLIMITED

RALEIGH, NC and QUEBEC CITY, June 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Medicago USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG), a biotechnology company focused on developing highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced it has received the third milestone payment of US$5.6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA"). This is part of the potential US$21M DARPA milestone awards to be earned by Medicago to demonstrate the scalable manufacturing of its plant-expressed VLP vaccines in the U.S.A. under a Technology Investment Agreement. Medicago has now received US$16.3 million to date for this project.

"It is a testament to the Medicago Team's technology transfer skills and perseverance to accomplish this intensive and challenging milestone on schedule.  This milestone focused on final scale-up plans and documentation to support the technology transfer to our cGMP facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina," said Mike Wanner, Vice President U.S. Operations of Medicago USA. "We continue to meet all milestones to date for this fast track project and our U.S. vaccine facility is projected to be operational during the second half of 2011."

On August 2010, Medicago signed a US$21M Technology Investment Agreement with DARPA to develop a 90,000-square-foot cGMP facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, which is currently under construction. This state of-the-art facility will be a large, cost-effective and scaled-up facility for Medicago's VLP plant-based vaccine technology ultimately for the delivery of cGMP-grade vaccine. Medicago intends to demonstrate its capacity to produce 10 million doses/month of influenza vaccines with the potential for further expansion in the future. This DARPA project is part of the Blue Angel influenza vaccine rapid response demonstration project which seeks to identify new ways to produce large amounts of high quality vaccine grade protein in less than 3 months in response to emerging and novel biologic threats.

About Medicago

Medicago is committed to provide highly effective and competitive 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 31, 2011 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.

 

 

 

SOURCE Medicago Inc.

For further information:

Contact:      

Medicago Inc.       
Andy Sheldon
President and CEO
(418) 658-9393   
                                        Medicago Inc.  
Christina Cameron
Investor Relations Manager
(418) 658-9393 x156

 

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