QUEBEC CITY, Jan. 28, 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), today announced the execution of a collaboration agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation ("MCHC") to develop a next generation technology for plant production. The objectives of the collaboration are to evaluate MCHC's Plant Factory System, a closed cultivation system, to produce Nicotiana Benthamiana plants for protein production using Medicago's technologies.
"Our goal is to develop a highly effective, closed plant production system with our partner, Mitsubishi," said Andy Sheldon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Medicago. "This system would be designed to enhance our capacity and further decrease operating costs, whilst facilitating new applications of Medicago's technology. We are pleased to build upon our existing strategic relationship with Mitsubishi and look forward to continuing to strengthen the synergies between our two companies."
"We are pleased to intensify our collaboration with Medicago to further combine our strengths," said Dr. Seiichi Kiso, Executive Officer, Head of Healthcare Solutions Office of MCHC "Medicago and Mitsubishi have both developed very promising technologies and we see a significant opportunity from joining the two technologies into a next generation plant protein production platform."
MCHC has developed a Plant Factory System, a closed hydroponic system to grow plants, which is currently used for industrial scale vegetable production in Japan and other countries. Using solar panels and LED lighting, it is meant to achieve efficient, clean, safe and environmentally friendly plant production which is not dependant on weather conditions. These features can provide tightly controlled conditions and reproducibility which are key elements to ensure reliable biopharmaceutical production in different geographies and climates.
Under the terms of their collaboration agreement, Medicago and MCHC will work together exclusively for one year to evaluate the potential of combining MCHC's Plant Factory System with Medicago's plant protein production technologies.
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.
About Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) is a Japan's leading integrated chemical company, and the MCHC Group includes four core operating companies: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc., and Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. At the Group, they serve their customers by using their chemistry-based technology platforms to develop a wide range of technologies and products in the fields of performance products, healthcare, and industrial materials. Under the Group philosophy: "Good Chemistry for Tomorrow", MCHC established a new concept, KAITEKI, which encompasses sustainability, health, and comfort. The Group aims to realize a truly sustainable state of comfort, not only for individuals but also for society and the earth as a whole, by providing their technologies and products. Further information about MCHC is available on its website: www.mitsubishichem-hd.co.jp/english/.
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 29, 2012, 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.