PlantForm advances HIV antibody research in collaboration with scientists funded by U.S. National Institutes of Health

GUELPH, Ont., Jan. 15, 2020PlantForm Corporation is advancing development of innovative antibody treatments for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through a research collaboration with scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Université de Montréal, supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

PlantForm will use its plant-based vivoXPRESS® manufacturing platform to provide anti-HIV antibodies for the project, led by Dr. David T. Evans at the UW-Madison AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory and the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, Dr. Andrés Finzi at the Centre de Recherche du CHUM and Université de Montréal, and Dr John Kappes at the University of Alabama.

Supported by a $684,196 grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the five-year project will enhance understanding of the protective immune responses to HIV-1 infection by building on the outcomes of a vaccine trial conducted in Thailand in 2003-2006.

The researchers will investigate the basic viral and cellular factors that govern the elimination of HIV-infected cells through antibody-dependent cell-mediated toxicity (ADCC) and develop a high-throughput assay suitable for measuring ADCC as a sign of protection against infection.

“We’re very pleased to contribute to ground-breaking work that is providing new tools and knowledge that we need to cure HIV by manipulating immune responses and harnessing the killing power of antibodies,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. “This collaboration will also advance our ability to express target proteins using vivoXPRESS® system, which in previous research produced several antibodies that were shown to be as effective as mammalian-derived antibodies against diverse strains of HIV.”

PlantForm’s role is an extension of earlier work with Dr. Finzi focused on producing antibodies that fight HIV infection by disrupting the virus’s method of entry into human CD4+ lymphocytes. That project identified certain glycosylations on these antibodies that were beneficial for ADCC.

About PlantForm Corporation (
PlantForm Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the rapid development and production of specialty antibody and protein drugs using the company’s proprietary vivoXPRESS® platform. The plant-based vivoXPRESS® system makes it easier, faster and less expensive to produce approved biologic drugs for novel indications and new markets. The company’s pipeline includes trastuzumab for a novel indication in nerve regeneration, a biosimilar version of Lucentis® and other niche indication drugs. Learn more.                                                     

For more information, please contact:
Don Stewart
President and CEO
+1 416-452-7242
Stacey Curry Gunn
Director of Communications
+1 519-827-1131

For more information about vivoXPRESS® licensing opportunities for biopharmaceutical research and development, contact:
David Cayea
PlantForm Chief Operating Officer
+1 519-381-1505


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