QUEBEC CITY, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG; OTCQX: MDCGF), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), announced today it was granted a patent from the European Patent Office (EPO) providing Medicago the exclusive rights to produce influenza VLPs in plants. Patent Number 2173886, titled "Influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) comprising hemagglutinin produced within a plant", will provide patent coverage for Medicago in Europe through July 2028. The EP 2173886 patent was originally filed on July 11, 2008, and the grant decision is scheduled to be published in the European Patent Bulletin on June 26, 2013.
Medicago's IP portfolio currently contains over 500 patents and patent applications providing protection in more than 45 countries.
"The coverage offered by this patent strengthens Medicago's position as we expand the development of our influenza vaccine programs," said Frederic Ors, Medicago's Vice President of Business Development. "Additionally, we believe the patent enhances our IP position and further illustrates our competitive advantage with respect to the development of VLPs and other recombinant proteins in plants. In our opinion, our innovative method of rapidly producing efficacious influenza VLPs is a required technology for strengthened protection of the population against biological threats."
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 VLP and manufacturing technologies. Medicago is a worldwide leader in the development of VLP vaccines using a transient expression system which produces recombinant vaccine antigens in plants. This technology has potential to offer more potent vaccines with speed and cost advantages over competitive technologies, enabling the development of a vaccine for testing in approximately one 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, and supply large volumes of vaccine antigens to the world market. Medicago also intends to expand development into other areas such as biosimilars and biodefense products where the benefits of our technologies can make a significant difference. Additional information about Medicago is available at www.medicago.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information for the purposes of applicable securities laws and such statements and information are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with Medicago's business and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", and similar expressions to the extent they relate to Medicago or its management. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but reflect Medicago's current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including the matters discussed under "Risk Factors and Uncertainties" in Medicago's Annual Information Form filed on March 28, 2013, with the regulatory authorities. Medicago assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Medicago Inc.