QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG), a biotechnology company focused on developing highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced an extension to its partnering agreement of July 2009 with Genopole®. Medicago and Genopole® will also work towards the creation a laboratory for research on vaccine and antibody targets of interest for France in terms of public health and biodefense. This laboratory is planned to involve French academic research institutes and will be located at the Genopole® biopark in Evry, France. This extension was executed today at the 2010 Symposium Franco-Québécois in the presence of Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec and Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry.
On July 21, 2009, Medicago and Genopole® signed a partnering agreement to collaborate on the establishment of a commercial-scale facility based on Medicago's Proficia™ plant-based manufacturing technology and VLP vaccine technology on Genopole®'s site in Evry, France. Following Medicago's successful completion of its Phase I clinical trial, Genopole® and Medicago met with French authorities to identify specific interests and needs for research and development of new vaccines and antibodies of high priority and concluded that the proposed implementation of such a laboratory for joint research on vaccine and antibody targets was a step towards the establishment of a commercial-scale facility.
"Medicago is very pleased to expand its long-standing relationship with Genopole," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago. "Medicago is committed to using innovative manufacturing approaches to develop better vaccines that can be produced very rapidly and cost-effectively. This laboratory could be a significant asset to further validate the broad application potential of our proprietary Virus-Like Particles and plant-based production/extraction technologies."
"We are glad to continue our collaboration with Medicago. Their innovative Virus-Like Particle and non-transgenic plant-based manufacturing technologies show great promise for the development of vaccines" said Pierre Tambourin, Director of Genopole®. "This expanded collaboration will support our biopark's leadership in innovation and bioproduction by offering unique research and manufacturing capabilities to France and Europe."
Genopole® is the leading French science park dedicated to life sciences. Its campus - near Paris - combines academic (CEA, CNRS, INRA, INSERM, Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne) and private research laboratories, university/higher education facilities, biotechnology companies, and an incubator for biotech start-ups. Genopole® proposes the key benefits of a rich and well-equipped environment: a high-level, multidisciplinary research cluster in genomics and related sciences, a prosperous industrial fabric and cutting-edge, shared-access infrastructure. Genopole®'s priority is to promote therapy-focused biotech by providing optimal conditions for company growth and progress in research, the development of large-scale biological activities and to make France a major competitor in the world of science and industry. Additional information about Genopole® is available at www.genopole.fr
Medicago is committed to provide highly effective and competitive 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 news release includes certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with Medicago's business and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", and similar expressions to the extent they relate to Medicago or its management. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but reflect Medicago's current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including the matters discussed under "Risks Factors and Uncertainties" in Medicago's Annual Information Form filed on March 24, 2010 with the regulatory authorities. Medicago assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Medicago Inc.