PlantForm’s proprietary vivoXPRESS® technology platform produces a wide range of biopharmaceutical products, including monoclonal antibodies, protein drugs and vaccines. Our pipeline includes:
PlantForm's first product will be a biosimilar version of Roche’s breast-cancer drug Herceptin®, the brand name for trastuzumab.
Herceptin® has sales of $6.8 billion annually and began to lose patent protection in 2014 (2019 in the United States). Treatment with Herceptin® can cost as much as $100,000 per patient per year. PlantForm expects its plant-based production system will lower manufacturing costs by as much as 90 per cent.
An efficacy study in mice has shown that PlantForm’s biosimilar trastuzumab antibody drug is as effective as the commercial antibody drug in reducing the size and growth rate of breast cancer tumours. Human clinical trials are expected to begin in the next 12-18 months.
PlantForm expects to launch biosimilar trastuzumab, in partnership with a pharmaceutical company, in world markets in 2018. PlantForm management estimates the total market potential for all biosimilar trastuzumab products is $4 billion to $5 billion a year by 2019.
PlantForm is also developing biosimilar versions of two additional oncology drugs that have combined annual global sales of up to $10.6 billion (2013).
Antibodies for HIV/AIDS
PlantForm is developing innovator antibodies for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), with funding from the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through NRC-IRAP's Canadian HIV Technology Development (CHTD) Program. These antibodies fight infection by disrupting the virus's method of entry into human CD4+ lymphocytes (T-cells).
Antibodies for Ebola virus (Sudan)
PlantForm is conducting a feasibility study on the production of Ebola Sudan virus drugs, using the company’s vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system, with funding support and technical advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). This project is in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
Recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rBuChE)
Butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) is an enzyme that has been developed as a bioscavenger to provide prophylactic protection against nerve agents, such as sarin gas. In 2013, PlantForm successfully completed a contract with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for research and development of recombinant BuChE production in plants. PlantForm continues to advance its BuChE program under contract with Defence Research and Development Canada.
PlantForm is interested in establishing partnerships with other companies to develop additional targeted biosimilar and innovator drugs.