QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 19 /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 the appointment of Mr. Pierre Marc Johnson, attorney, physician and former Premier of Quebec, to its Board of Directors. Mr. Johnson replaces Mr. Damien Levesque, who is leaving the Board of Medicago after serving for nine years. Mr. Levesque will continue to assist Medicago as a Consultant.
"We are pleased to welcome Mr. Johnson to Medicago's Board," said Dr. Randal Chase, Chairman of the Medicago Board of Directors. "As one of Quebec's prominent leaders, Mr. Johnson brings a wealth of strategic insight and solid experience working in governments and businesses. His knowledge of public policy and regulatory processes as well as business activities will make of Mr. Johnson a great asset to Medicago in the future development and commercialization of its novel influenza vaccines."
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Levesque for his great dedication and loyal service to Medicago since the inception of the Company. His guidance was of great assistance to the development of our business," concluded Dr. Chase.
Mr. Johnson is a lawyer, physician, former Premier of Quebec and former professor of law at McGill University. He has been Of Counsel with the offices of Heenan Blaikie LLP since 1996. He is recognized for his expertise in international trade negotiations and international partnerships as well as environmental and health law. From 1976 to 1987, he was a member of the Quebec Legislature Assembly and in senior cabinet positions before becoming Premier in 1985. He was a founding Vice-Chair of the Prime Minister's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy of Canada, chaired its Foreign Policy committee for seven years. He also served as a Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and to the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation. Mr. Johnson was a director of several major corporations and currently sits on the boards of ACE Aviation Holdings Corporation, Air Canada and Holcim Canada; he chairs the foresight committee of the Veolia Institute for the Environment of Paris. In 2006, he was appointed chair of the board of directors of the Quartier de la Santé (Health district corporation), a Montreal-based organization created to foster diagnostic and therapeutic innovation. Mr. Johnson holds an honorary doctorate from the Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, France. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Grand Officier of the Ordre de la Pléiade and Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Québec.
Concurrently with his appointment, Mr. Johnson was granted 37,500 options at an exercise price of $0.60. Said options are governed by the stock options plan of the Company and will vest in three yearly installments.
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.
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SOURCE Medicago Inc.
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