PlantForm AGM highlights
PlantForm has made significant progress in research and development projects over the last year and has realigned its product pipeline to respond to market developments, Don Stewart, President and CEO, reported at the Company’s annual general meeting in Toronto Sept. 20.
(ranibizumab), a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, is now the Company’s lead drug candidate for North American and European markets.
The company is seeking a co-development partner to advance its biosimilar Herceptin®
(trastuzumab) product for a novel indication, following research at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto that shows trastuzumab accelerates nerve regeneration in cases of acute trauma. PlantForm has licensed the intellectual property rights from SickKids to commercialize trastuzumab for this purpose.
The company is also continuing development of biosimilar Humira®
(adalimumab) for rheumatoid arthritis for the Brazilian and South American markets.
A wholly-owned subsidiary, AntoXa Corporation, has been created to develop the company’s innovative medical countermeasure program, which includes drug candidates that protect against exposure to ricin, sarin and Ebola Sudan (see more about AntoXa below).
The company has submitted 3 new patents and has received notice of issuance of the patent “Methods of Improving the Therapeutic Efficacy and Utility of Antibody Fragments” in the EU.
“We are pleased with the progress made in our research and development projects over the last year as we continue to advance and demonstrate the capabilities of our vivo
platform technology to deliver important biologic drugs for novel indications and new markets," Stewart said.
Introducing AntoXa: Plant-made biopharmaceuticals for a safer world
PlantForm has established AntoXa Corporation
as a wholly-owned subsidiary to develop medical countermeasures to protect military and civilian personnel from biological and chemical agents that might be used in terrorist attacks, as well as from outbreaks of naturally occurring infectious diseases.
AntoXa will initially focus on producing countermeasures for ricin, sarin, soman and Ebola Sudan, as well as other biodefense therapeutics, using PlantForm’s vivo
biopharmaceutical manufacturing platform, said Don Stewart, President and CEO of PlantForm and AntoXa.
“Establishing AntoXa allows the PlantForm group of companies to focus on different areas of expertise: AntoXa on medical countermeasures; PlantForm Canada on innovative, biosimilar and biobetter opportunities for North America and Europe; and PlantForm do Brasil (PlantPraxis) on biosimilar and biobetter opportunities for Latin America,” Stewart said.
“AntoXa also provides a vehicle for investors who wish to focus on medical countermeasure opportunities, and allows the company to develop a group of employees with the specialty expertise to address the civilian and military needs for medical countermeasures.”
Pilot production facility under construction in Brazil
Construction is under way on a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical lab and pilot production facility in Rio de Janeiro that will support the development of key biosimilar and biobetter protein drugs for the Brazilian market, through a joint venture between PlantForm and Brazil-based Axis Biotec Brasil
The new laboratory and manufacturing facility, supported by funding from Finep (Brazilian Funding Agency for Studies and Projects) is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
It marks a major milestone in an initiative first announced last year, when Finep provided a US$1-million grant to Silvestre Labs, part of the Axis Biotec Brasil group of companies. The joint venture, called PlantPraxis, will first develop a biosimilar version of adalimumab (Humira®) for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders using PlantForm’s vivo
XPRESS® manufacturing platform.
The new facility will be operational in 2018, with several additional biological targets in the pipeline. The long-term goal is to establish a commercial scale manufacturing plant in Brazil to serve the South American market, and a facility in Canada for the North American and European markets.
Also see Plant-Based Biosimilar Development Takes Root in Brazil
, Biosimilar Development
(Aug. 9, 2017).