Medicago appoints new member to Board of Directors and grants stock options

    QUEBEC CITY, QC, Jan. 15 /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, announced today that Mr. Pierre Des Marais II, O.C., longstanding
board member of numerous companies, has been appointed to its Board of
    "We are pleased to welcome Mr. Des Marais II to our Board," said Dr.
Randal Chase, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Medicago. "With extensive
experience serving on the boards of some of Canada's leading companies, broad
business acumen and contacts, his guidance will be invaluable as we pursue the
global commercialization of our proprietary plant-based technology and
continue to advance our vaccine programs."
    Over the past 40 years, Mr. Des Marais II has served on the board of more
than 20 companies, most notably: Rothmans Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd., Royal Bank
of Canada, Sleeman Breweries Ltd., Canadian National Railways, Goodyear
Canada, Carling O'Keefe Ltd., Canadair Ltd., and Air Canada. He was President
and CEO of Unimedia for 12 years until July 1999. Mr. Des Marais II was Mayor
of the City of Outremont, a suburb of Montreal, for 14 years. From 1978 to
1985, Mr. Des Marais II was Chairman of the Executive Committee of Montreal
Urban Community. He started his career as Managing Director at the age of 21
at his family's firm, Pierre Des Marais Inc., one of Canada's largest printing
companies. Mr. Des Marais II studied Business Administration at the "Haute
Etudes Commerciales" in Montreal.
    Medicago also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved an
amendment to the Company's Stock Option Plan to increase the number of shares
available for issuance from 4,500,000 to 9,000,000 and subsequently granted
3,472,650 stock options to executives, employees and a consultant. In
accordance with the terms of employment agreements and conditions of the stock
option plan, 1,420,000 of the options were issued at an exercise price of
$0.355 and 2,052,650 options at an exercise price of $0.20, and are set to
expire five years from the date of the grant. The amendment to the Stock
Option Plan, and consequently the issuance of 1,317,245 options, is subject to
the approval by Medicago's shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting of
shareholders to be held in May.

    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

    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; Medicago Inc., Arianna Vanin, Director, Investor
Relations, (514) 796-3993

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