Medicago's H5N1 VLP vaccine demonstrates cross-reactivity against multiple strains of avian flu in key ferret animal model



    QUEBEC CITY, June 25 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX-V: MDG) today announced
additional positive results for the Company's H5N1 Avian Influenza VLP vaccine
from a preclinical immunogenicity study performed in ferrets, the most
predictive animal model for evaluating the effectiveness of influenza vaccines
in humans. The Company's H5N1 VLP vaccine induced high levels of antibodies
that neutralized strains of H5N1 circulating virus beyond the strain used to
develop the original vaccine. Cross-reactivity was demonstrated against three
of the deadliest strains of H5N1: the Turkey strain (clade 2.2), the Anhui
strain (clade 2.3) and the Vietnam strain (clade 1).
    "These data further highlight the competitive advantages of our
proprietary avian flu vaccine. Not only have we been able to demonstrate the
efficacy of our vaccine at very low doses, we have now demonstrated that our
vaccine offers broad protection against a variety of strains of this deadly
virus," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago. "These unique
properties, combined with the speed of our vaccine production platform, should
prove highly attractive to governments and institutions seeking to develop
vaccine stockpiles and pandemic planning in the most efficient and effective
manner possible."
    The objective of Medicago's study was to determine the optimal dosage for
its H5N1 VLP vaccine in ferrets. At the start of the study, ferrets were
vaccinated with a range of doses of the Company's VLP vaccine made from an
Indonesian strain of H5N1 Avian Influenza. A booster immunization was
administered after three weeks. The results demonstrated that ferrets
vaccinated with the 5 micrograms dose met all CHMP (European Union Committee
for Medicinal Products for Human Use) criteria for other H5N1 strains after
the second dose with 100% of the ferrets having an hemagglutination inhibition
(HAI) titer greater than 1:40 for the Turkey strain, and 80%, for the Anhui
and Vietnam strains. These criteria set by the CHMP for the approval of
seasonal flu vaccines in the European Union are widely used to assess immune
responses of new pandemic influenza vaccines in humans. In the case of
ferrets, these criteria are useful to predict effective doses that should be
tested in humans.

    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.

    The TSX Venture Exchange assumes no responsibility for the content or
    accuracy of this press release

    %SEDAR: 00023641EF




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, avanin@equicomgroup.com

Organization Profile

Medicago Inc.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890