Medicago, Inc. Announces Research Collaboration for the Development of a VLP Vaccine Candidate for the Prevention of Ebola With the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
QUEBEC CITY, May 26, 2011 /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 that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) for the development of a plant-based VLP vaccine candidate for the prevention of Ebola. Ebola is a very serious hemorrhagic fever virus for which no licensed treatment or vaccine exists.
"We are currently working on several other important infectious disease targets outside of influenza," said Louis Vezina, Chief Scientific Officer of Medicago. "Our expertise in the development of VLP vaccines using our transient expression system, coupled with USAMRIID's experience and knowledge creates an ideal combination for the rapid development of a new generation of efficacious and competitive VLP vaccines."
Medicago's VLP plant-based technology is being utilized in multiple preclinical and clinical trials. Medicago remains on track to report final phase II clinical trial results for its H5N1 vaccine candidate this quarter along with U.S. phase I clinical trial results for its seasonal flu vaccine candidate.
USAMRIID, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Department of Defense's Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute conducts basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. While USAMRIID's primary mission is focused on the military, its research often has applications that benefit society as a whole. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. For more information, visit www.usamriid.army.mil .
Medicago is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, developing effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary Virus-Like Particles (VLP) and manufacturing technologies. Medicago is developing VLP vaccines to protect against pandemic and seasonal 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 the genetic sequence. 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.