TORONTO, March 21 /CNW/ - Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX:MBX) announced
today that it has been granted a patent by the Canadian Patent Office for its
Vaccine Technology. This technology holds the promise of significantly
boosting global production of influenza vaccines.
"This is a major milestone for Microbix as we move towards
commercializing this important technology," said William J. Gastle, Chairman
and CEO of the Company. "This is the first of a series of patents we expect
will be granted in international markets where influenza vaccines are
Last year, an independent laboratory confirmed that the Microbix' vaccine
technology delivers a two-fold increase in the yield of human influenza virus
from eggs. The independent evaluation was conducted by Dr. Todd Hatchette, the
Director of Virology and Immunology at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences
Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Hatchette is a specialist in the field of
Annual global vaccine production capacity is currently only 350 million
doses, far short of any potential pandemic requirement. Microbix' technology
not only offers the potential to significantly increase flu vaccine
production, but will also speed up development of vaccines in response to new
flu strains - both important factors in combating possible future pandemics.
In its 2006 Global Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply, the World
Health Organization stated that the first priority for the influenza vaccine
industry is to improve production yields. The WHO also recognized that
companies are currently working "independently of each other" and should
collaborate in a more constructive way.
"Demand for seasonal influenza vaccine supply outstripped capacity again
in 2006 and is a situation likely to remain for a number of years due to
government policies that are raising population vaccination rates. Our
technology offers an opportunity to expand capacity cost effectively and
quickly," said Mr. Gastle.
"The WHO Plan highlights the consequences of a pandemic emerging in this
environment of limited capacity," noted Mr. Gastle. "Every option, including
our technology, should be used to head off severe shortages."
The global market for flu vaccines is growing and expected to reach
$3.7 billion by 2010. Microbix' strategy is to collaborate with industry
groups and license the technology to earn fees and royalties. Microbix is now
in discussions with potential licensees.
Microbix specializes in developing proprietary biological technologies
and commercializing them through global partners. The Company has intellectual
property in large market biotherapeutic drugs, vaccine technologies and animal
reproduction technologies. Established in 1988, Microbix is headquartered in
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject
to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements including
the risk associated with inability for third parties to replicate the
laboratory results, limited application of laboratory results to
commercialization of the Vaccine Technology such as vaccine manufacturers
being unable to make changes to their production process or not realizing a
yield that, in their opinion, makes the process economical, among others.
These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the
date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to
update these forward-looking statements.
For further information:
For further information: visit www.microbix.com or contact: William J.
Gastle, Chairman and CEO, (416) 234-1624 x 230