PlantForm ships Ebola antibodies to USAMRIID for testing
PlantForm has successfully produced three Ebola antibodies in our vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system, again demonstrating the system’s versatility for monoclonal antibody production, said Dr. Don Stewart, company President and CEO.
“Our plant-based system has produced Ebola antibodies of the desired purity and in the desired quantities,” he said. “The material has been sent to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases for further evaluation.”
PlantForm received funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for the feasibility study, which produced antibodies for the Sudan strain of Ebola. The Sudan strain 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 10,000 people in West Africa to date.
PlantForm to receive $500,000 in funding for HIV antibody innovation
PlantForm Corporation will receive a financial contribution of up to $500,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to advance the company’s work on innovative antibody treatments for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The contract brings NRC-IRAP funding for the company’s HIV work to a total of $1.37 million.
PlantForm is using its tobacco-plant-based vivoXPRESS™ system to produce antibodies that fight HIV infection by disrupting the virus’s method of entry into human CD4+ lymphocytes (T-cells). The funding will enable the further development, production and testing of antibodies for a potent anti-HIV therapeutic cocktail to treat strains of the disease circulating in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. The antibodies will be tested in a novel mouse model that PlantForm is developing in collaboration with Toronto-based Miami Mice Research Corp.
“Our goal is to meet the need for low-cost, effective and safer drugs to eliminate or manage the effects of HIV infection,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm’s President and CEO. “Thirty-five million people are living with this disease worldwide, many of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. We want to see local manufacturing of these novel treatments where they are needed most.”
PlantForm has previously produced, at small scale, eight antibodies for HIV treatment, which have been shown to be as effective as mammalian-derived antibodies against 15 strains of HIV in in vitro testing conducted at Duke University in partnership with The Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery.
Funding for the project is provided through NRC-IRAP’s Canadian HIV Technology Development (CHTD) Program, which is part of the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI), a collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. PlantForm has received previous financial support from NRC-IRAP of up to $867,570 under this program.
Read about PlantForm’s HIV work in the Guelph Mercury.
Share our news!
Get regular updates on our activities and industry news by following PlantForm on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.