PlantForm - Axis Biotec Brasil biosimilar collaboration awarded US$1‑million grant from Finep

Funds will be dedicated to establish lab-scale pilot manufacturing facility and develop biosimilar antibody drug

GUELPH, Ont., Canada and RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil—June 2, 2016

PlantForm Corporation and Axis Biotec Brasil will co-develop a key biosimilar monoclonal antibody drug for the Brazilian market with funding from Finep (Brazilian Funding Agency for Studies and Projects).

Finep, an organization that funds science and technology initiatives under the Brazilian federal government’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, has provided a grant of US$1 million for the project to Silvestre Labs, part of the Axis Biotec Brasil group of companies. Silvestre Labs will provide a matching contribution of US$0.5 million to dedicate a total of US$1.5 million to initiate development of a biosimilar/biobetter version of Humira® (adalimumab). The funds will also allow the nationalization of PlantForm’s vivoXPRESS® technology to develop drug targets specifically for the Brazilian market with the establishment of a pilot lab-scale manufacturing facility in Brazil.

“The funding from Finep is key to advancing our efforts to deliver important biopharmaceuticals to Brazilian patients at reduced cost,” said Eduardo Cruz, founder and CEO of Axis Biotec Brasil. “We are pleased to be bringing PlantForm’s innovative, plant-based manufacturing system to Brazil for this purpose.”

“Our partnership with Axis Biotec Brasil and the support of the Brazilian government is a significant milestone for PlantForm,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm’s President and CEO. “It advances our global strategy for biosimilar drug development and manufacturing, and we look forward to a highly productive and long-term collaboration.”

PlantForm has established a joint venture with PharmaPraxis, a company that is also part of the Axis Biotec Brasil group, to develop, manufacture and commercialize several biosimilar and/or biobetter versions of key biologic drugs using PlantForm’s vivoXPRESS® manufacturing platform for plant-made pharmaceuticals. The funding announced from Finep will advance the work of the joint venture, known as PlantPraxis.

About PlantForm Corporation ( PlantForm is a Canadian biotech company with a low-cost proprietary manufacturing platform for a wide range of plant-made pharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and vaccines for the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and other life-threatening illnesses. The company’s vivoXPRESS® biopharming technology uses genetically modified tobacco plants to ‘grow’ biopharmaceuticals at a significantly lower cost of goods compared to industry-standard fermentation systems. Learn more.

About Axis Biotec Brasil and PharmaPraxis ( Axis Biotec Brasil is a holding company, which sponsors and manages research, development and innovative business in health and life sectors. In the last 30 years, Axis Biotec group has proven to be efficient in translating research into innovative products and services. PharmaPraxis is the biopharmaceutical company of the group focused on R&D, manufacturing and commercializing biosimilar and innovator biologic drugs, pharmacogenomic and genetic kits, and alternative routes for biopharmaceutical expression. Companies that are also part of Axis Biotec Brasil group are Silvestre Labs, Cryopraxis and CellPraxis. Learn more.


For more information, please contact:
Don Stewart
PlantForm President and CEO
+1 416-452-7242

Eduardo Cruz
Founder & CEO
Axis Biotec Brasil
+55 21 3035 69 50
Stacey Curry Gunn
PlantForm Director of Communications
+1 519-827-1131

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