QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX-V: MDG) today announced
that preclinical testing of its pandemic H5N1 Influenza Virus-Like Particles
("VLP") vaccine has shown positive results. Medicago's Influenza VLP vaccine
triggered a strong protective immune response against the lethal H5N1
Indonesia strain currently in circulation.
"We are extremely pleased with the results from this study. Our VLP
vaccine offers in our opinion a highly promising avenue and could play a vital
role in the world's response to a flu pandemic. We also believe our
proprietary transient expression system will allow us to produce VLP vaccines
faster and at lower cost than our competitors using cell culture techniques,"
said Andy Sheldon President and Chief Executive Officer of Medicago. "By
combining our VLPs and plant-based manufacturing system, we intend to position
Medicago to significantly increase the speed of a public health response in
the event of an outbreak. This is important as we continue our discussions
with potential partners. We expect to initiate a lethal challenge study with
our VLP vaccine in the coming weeks."
"These studies represent an important step towards the production of a
safe and efficacious pandemic vaccine. Our Influenza VLP vaccine demonstrated
it can provide a protective antibody response at doses as low as 1 micro g,"
said Dr. Louis Vezina, Medicago's Chief Scientific Officer. "In addition, our
ability to potentially deliver a vaccine in a short time frame could prove
critical in meeting a surge in global demand in the midst of a pandemic
The objective of Medicago's preclinical studies was to determine the
optimal dosage of its VLP vaccine. Intra muscular and intranasal delivery
routes were investigated with and without an adjuvant. At the start of
preclinical trial, mice were immunized with Medicago's VLP with doses ranging
from 1 micro g to 12 micro g. A booster immunization was administered after
three weeks. Results showed that the administration of Medicago's VLP vaccine
stimulated a significant seroprotective immune response in all animals who
received doses as low as 1 micro g. Preliminary results also showed a strong
antibody response even in the absence of an adjuvant. Studies were performed
in collaboration with Dr. Brian Ward from McGill University.
About Medicago Inc.
Medicago is a biotechnology company focused on the development,
production and commercialization of protein-based vaccines and
biopharmaceuticals using a proprietary manufacturing system developed from its
expertise in the genetic engineering of plants. Medicago's Proficia technology
offers speed, flexibility and cost advantages that can greatly improve the
accessibility of today's emerging vaccines and biopharmaceuticals for both
partners and patients.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the
Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ
materially from those projected herein. The Company 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; The Equicom Group Inc., Eric Bouchard, Investor Relations,
(514) 844-7997, email@example.com