Medicago awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to explore alternate production methods for Ebola antibodies

QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Medicago, a leading company in the development and production of plant-based vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that it has received a task order from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for three anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with expected performance comparable to that of ZMapp™, from Mapp Biopharmaceutical.

Medicago will manufacture the antibodies in its Quebec City, Canada facility, for a study in non-human primates (NHP). Two of these antibodies were discovered by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This order is the result of a Task Order Request (TOR) that was solicited by BARDA on December 22, 2014. It is part of the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract between Medicago and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Joining the global efforts against Ebola

Medicago is pleased to join the international efforts against the Ebola virus. Medicago intends to demonstrate the comparable performance of its anti-Ebola antibodies to ZMappTM.

"Medicago's production platform has demonstrated its important potential for responding to international emergencies and pandemics when it produced candidate vaccines for H1N1 in 2009 and H7N9 in 2013," said Andy Sheldon, Medicago's CEO. "As governments around the world continue to face health threats like pandemic strains of influenza and Ebola viruses, we believe that Medicago can make a major contribution to rapid response, surge capacity and stockpiles across the globe."

Preliminary results have shown that Medicago's technology can rapidly produce anti-Ebola antibodies with high yields, thereby potentially boosting production volumes and worldwide supply.

In accordance with U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR 16.505 (b)(1)), this TOR allowed all four awardees of the DARPA ID/IQ contracts to compete. Medicago's ID/IQ contract was awarded in December 2012.

About Medicago

Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel vaccines and therapeutic proteins to address a broad range of infectious diseases worldwide. The company is committed to providing highly effective and competitive vaccines and therapeutic proteins based on its proprietary Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) and manufacturing technologies.

This technology has the potential to offer vaccines and therapeutics with speed and cost advantages over competitive technologies, enabling the development of products for testing within approximately one month after the identification and reception of genetic sequences. This production time frame has the potential to rapidly vaccinate or treat populations and supply large volumes of product to the global market.  www.medicago.com

About BARDA

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), within the Office Of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services, provides an integrated, systematic approach to the development and purchase of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies. www.medicalcountermeasures.gov

SOURCE Medicago Inc.

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