NEWARK, Del., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- iBio, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: IBIO) today announced issuance of a US patent covering the use of iBio's proprietary fusion-protein technology in combination with influenza virus antigens for vaccine product applications. The invention comprises the use of lichenase in an adjuvant-like role to improve the performance of vaccines. This approach was developed by the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB), iBio's research collaborator. The new patent is US Patent 8,124,103, entitled "Influenza Antigen, Vaccine Compositions, and Related Methods".
The vaccine industry is increasingly focused on the development of subunit vaccines. These subunit vaccines require use of components called adjuvants for improving their efficacy. Lichenase, when fused to antigens acts as an adjuvant and can improve the efficacy of vaccines. Fusion of lichenase to vaccine antigens can enhance duration of immune response, improve production economies and increase product stability. This approach could provide significant advantages over more conventional methodologies used to improve vaccine efficacy.
"We consider the issuance of this patent to be an important step in the expansion of opportunities in subunit vaccine development," said Vidadi Yusibov, Ph.D., one of the patent's inventors and Executive Director of FhCMB. "We previously published data demonstrating significant improvement in candidate vaccine performance in animal models when lichenase technology is employed with a range of target antigens, including antigens from plague, malaria, and human papilloma virus."
"While iBio's principal focus has been to optimize and commercialize our proprietary platform technology for broad commercial applications across the biologics field, we also have been bringing forward lichenase as a separate proprietary product platform to be licensed to enhance vaccine performance," said Robert B. Kay, Executive Chairman and CEO of iBio. "Based upon the results obtained in multiple animal studies and the formulation advantages of using a fusion protein, we believe there will be substantial commercial interest in lichenase as a proprietary approach for potent subunit vaccines."
This patent is an important addition to iBio's broader intellectual property portfolio that includes the clinical-stage iBioLaunch™ platform for vaccines and therapeutic products.
About iBio, Inc.
iBio develops and offers product applications of its iBioLaunch™ platform, providing collaborators full support for turn-key implementation of its technology for both proprietary and biosimilar products. The iBioLaunch platform is a proprietary, transformative technology for development and production of vaccines and therapeutic proteins using transient gene expression in green plants. The technology has been applied successfully to proteins difficult or impossible to produce with other methods, as well as proteins representative most important classes of biologic pharmaceuticals. Advantages of the iBioLaunch platform over other systems include enablement of rapid development and validation of modular, scalable, and optionally robotic, multi-product manufacturing facilities; production time measured in weeks instead of months or more; product entry that is unconstrained by traditional process patents; and significantly lower capital and operating costs for comparable production. Further information is available at: www.ibioinc.com.
About Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology
Fraunhofer USA CMB, a division of Fraunhofer USA, Inc., is a not-for-profit research organization whose mission is to develop safe and effective vaccines targeting infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders. The Center conducts research in the area of plant biotechnology, utilizing new, cutting edge technologies to assist with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human and animal diseases. The Center houses individuals with expertise and excellence in plant virology, pathology, molecular biology, immunology, vaccinology, protein engineering, and biochemistry. Further information is available at www.fraunhofer-cmb.org.
Statements included in this news release related to iBio, Inc. may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties such as competitive factors, technological development, market demand, and the Company's ability to obtain new contracts and accurately estimate net revenues due to variability in size, scope and duration of projects. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect the Company's financial results can be found in the company's Reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE iBio, Inc.