Making life-saving antibody medicine more affordable
PlantForm Corporation 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, ricin exposure, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and other life-threatening conditions.
The company’s vivoXPRESS® technology uses genetically modified tobacco plants to ‘grow’ biopharmaceuticals in fully contained greenhouse environments. vivoXPRESS® provides several advantages over mammalian-cell and other fermentation systems used to produce most biologic drugs on the market today: it’s fast, efficient, highly versatile (for new product development) and readily scalable. Best of all, it’s capable of reducing manufacturing costs for life-saving biologic drugs by up to 90 per cent compared to other systems.
The PlantForm team continues to advance the vivoXPRESS® system, which originated at the University of Guelph through the work of renowned plant scientist Dr. J. Christopher Hall, a PlantForm founder and the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. All relevant intellectual property is protected by patent filings.
The company’s first product will be a plant-produced (biosimilar) version of the breast cancer drug Herceptin®, the brand name for trastuzumab.
Proof-of-principle lab studies, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, show PlantForm’s biosimilar trastuzumab has equivalent purity and activity compared to Herceptin®. Animal efficacy studies show that PlantForm's drug is as effective as the commercial antibody in reducing the size and growth rate of breast cancer tumours. Learn more.
Herceptin® had global sales of C$8.6 billion in 2015, and its patents began to expire in 2014. PlantForm aims to launch biosimilar trastuzumab, in partnership with a pharmaceutical company, in world markets, beginning in Europe in 2021. PlantForm management estimates the total market potential for all biosimilar trastuzumab products is $2.5 billion a year by 2021.
PlantForm is also developing biosimilar versions of two additional oncology drugs that have combined annual global sales of up to $12.3 billion (2015).
PlantForm's pipeline also includes:
The company has offices in Guelph (headquarters), Toronto and Sarnia.