PlantForm antibodies neutralize Ebola Sudan in USAMRIID testing
Antibodies produced using PlantForm Corporation’s vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system have been shown to neutralize the Sudan strain of Ebola as effectively as antibodies produced by other systems, according to analyses performed by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
The antibodies were produced in N. benthamiana (tobacco) plants in a feasibility study that received financial support and technical advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). USAMRIID conducted in vivo binding and viral neutralization assays on the resulting material.
“We are very pleased that our vivoXPRESS™ platform has once again shown its viability and versatility for antibody and protein production,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. “We are exploring the potential for further collaboration with USAMRIID to develop a therapeutic Ebola Sudan antibody cocktail, as there are currently no drugs available to specifically protect against or treat this strain of the disease.”
The Sudan strain of Ebola was responsible for the first-known outbreak of the disease in 1976. The current, and largest, outbreak of the disease is due to another strain of Ebola virus, the Zaire strain, which has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa to date.
Read Guelph firm PlantForm making great strides in fight against Ebola Sudan in the Guelph Mercury.
Two NSERC Engage grants for PlantForm research partnerships
PlantForm is working with scientists at the University of Calgary and the University of Guelph on two research projects that have been awarded Engage Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Dr. Tariq A. Akhtar, an assistant professor in the University of Guelph’s Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, is working to enhance dolichol synthesis in plants to increase the efficacy of plant-produced antibodies. See the news release.
At the University of Calgary, Dr. Dae-Kyun Ro is assessing the potential for CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology to improve tobacco-plant production of therapeutic proteins. See the news release.
“We’re pleased to work with Dr. Akhtar and Dr. Ro to advance the capabilities of PlantForm’s vivoXPRESS™ production platform and further strengthen our intellectual property portfolio,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm’s President and CEO.
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