PlantForm receives Government of Canada support for Ebola antibody study

PlantForm Corporation has received financial support and technical advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to conduct a feasibility study on the production of Ebola Sudan virus drugs using the company’s vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system.

The six-month project will be conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), which has entered into a Co-operative Research and Development Agreement with PlantForm to execute the project.

USAMRIID will provide the amino acid sequences for a number of Ebola Sudan antibodies, which will be produced in N. benthamiana (tobacco) plants, using PlantForm’s proprietary system. The resulting material will be evaluated by PlantForm and USAMRIID.

“We are pleased to help in the fight against Ebola, and we look forward to further demonstrating the potential of the PlantForm vivoXPRESS™ platform for antibody and protein production,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO.

The Sudan strain of Ebola virus was responsible for the first-known outbreak of the disease in 1976. The current, and largest, outbreak of the disease is due to another strain of Ebola virus, the Zaire strain, which has killed more than 6,500 people in West Africa to date.

PlantForm awarded contract for anti-nerve-agent enzyme production

PlantForm has been awarded a contract with the Government of Canada to create stable glyco-modified Nicotiana benthamiana plant lines for the production of pharmaceutical proteins and continued supply of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) to Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

The contract is valued at $831,600 and the period of the contract extends to March 31, 2017.

“Butyrylcholinesterase is an enzyme that has been developed as a bioscavenger to provide prophylactic protection against nerve agents, such as sarin gas,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. “We are using our vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system to produce this enzyme in plants as a potential lower-cost alternative to plasma-derived BuChE.”

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.

Dr. Chris Hall, PlantForm’s Chief Scientific Officer, explains more about the BuChE project in this Guelph Mercury article.
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December 2014

In the News

PlantForm has gained prominent media attention in the last few months. Be sure to watch the CTV National News feature How tobacco plants can help fight Ebola (Oct. 18).

More recent media coverage: Stay up to date and share PlantForm news via Twitter and Facebook. News stories are also archived on our website.

Technology Evaluation Agreement

PlantForm has signed a four-month Technology Evaluation Agreement with a leading global biotechnology company to produce five target drugs in the company’s vivoXPRESS™ biopharmaceutical manufacturing system.
What’s vivoXPRESS™?

It’s the new trademarked brand name for PlantForm’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing platform.

The name references both the “in vivo” aspect of producing drugs in a living cell system, along with XPRESS for plant drug “expression” and fast development/production timelines.

Thanks to all PlantForm staff members who helped with name brainstorming!


Jan. 13 | PlantForm will attend the Life Science Nation RESI Conference in San Francisco.
Wishing you happy holidays
& a healthy, prosperous
New Year!
PlantForm is a Canadian company focused on providing
 therapeutic antibody drugs that fight cancer and other critical illnesses.
Our mailing address is:
1920 Yonge St, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, contact:
Don Stewart
President & CEO