Medicago Inc.
TSX VENTURE : MDG

Medicago Inc.

July 15, 2008 09:31 ET

Medicago to Evaluate Establishment of a Pandemic Vaccine Production Facility in France in Collaboration With Genopole d'Evry in Paris

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - Medicago Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MDG) today announced that it will conduct a feasibility study in collaboration with Genopole biopark, in Evry, for the establishment of a vaccine production facility in France. Medicago has obtained a grant from the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade to finance 40% of the study. The study will be conducted by SNC Lavalin with the assistance of Medicago and the Genopole d'Evry.

"Medicago's proprietary plant-based vaccine development and production technologies can deliver large volumes of vaccines, just one month after the identification of genetic sequences from an emerging pandemic strain. This rapid time frame is critical as it could allow the vaccination of a population before the first wave of the pandemic strikes," said Andy Sheldon, President and CEO of Medicago. "As we are able to rapidly produce new vaccines in large quantities, we have been in discussions with several countries in Europe, Asia and Africa for the establishment of partnerships to create domestic vaccine production infrastructures based on Medicago's technologies."

"In particular, we are excited to be exploring this opportunity in greater detail in France, where the objective is to establish a facility that offers surge capacity to produce pandemic vaccine doses and eventually other biodefense related products, as well as offering bioproduction services to local companies. We expect to complete all necessary studies by the end of 2008 and greatly appreciate the support of the Quebec government for our efforts to commercialize this technology globally," added Mr. Sheldon.

About Medicago

Medicago is committed to provide highly effective and affordable vaccines based on proprietary Virus-Like Particle (VLP) and manufacturing technologies. Medicago is developing VLP vaccines to protect against H5N1 pandemic 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 genetic sequences from a pandemic strain. 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.

About Genopole d'Evry

Genopole® is the leading French science park dedicated to life sciences. Its campus - near Paris - combines academic and private research laboratories, university/higher education facilities, biotechnology companies, and an incubator for biotech start-ups. Genopole® proposes the key benefits of a rich and well-equipped environment: a high-level, multidisciplinary research cluster in genomics and related sciences, a prosperous industrial fabric and cutting-edge, shared-access infrastructure.

Genopole's priority is to promote therapy-focused biotech by providing optimal conditions for company growth and progress in research, the development of large-scale biological activities and to make France a major competitor in the world of science and industry.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect Medicago's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those projected herein. Medicago disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

The TSX Venture Exchange assumes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of this press release

Contact Information

  • Medicago, Inc.
    Andy Sheldon
    President and CEO
    418-658-9393
    or
    The Equicom Group Inc.
    Arianna Vanin
    Investor relations
    514-844-4680
    avanin@equicomgroup.com