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PlantForm launches HIV project

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has awarded PlantForm $292,777 to develop antibodies for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The company will focus on producing antibodies that fight infection by disrupting the virus’s method of entry into human CD4+ lymphocytes (T-cells).

“PlantForm is pleased to join international efforts to develop effective, affordable, accessible treatments for HIV,” says Dr. Don Stewart, President and CEO. “This award validates the viability of our platform technology for low-cost therapeutic drug production, and we look forward to advancing antibody production against this target.”

The funding for the 16-month project comes from NRC-IRAP’s Canadian HIV Technology Development Program, part of the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

This initial funding has allowed PlantForm to hire three additional technical staff members to support the project, which concludes on March 31, 2013. There is the possibility for application for project extension beyond that date.

Dr. Wing-Fai Cheung will serve as senior research scientist. He has a PhD in biomedical science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and more than 10 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, most recently serving as a senior research scientist at Transition Therapeutics Inc.

Senior research associate Jessica Rouleau will research and develop antibody drugs with a focus on downstream purification. She has an M.A.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto and previously worked at Elastin Specialties Inc. developing elastin-based polypeptides for a variety of biomedical applications.

Erin Gilbert will serve as a research technician. She has a diploma (biotechnology technician) from Conestoga College and joins the PlantForm team from the University of Guelph. Erin brings expertise in plant-based production of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. 

Stacey Curry Gunn named
Director of Communications

PlantForm is pleased to announce the appointment of Stacey Curry Gunn as Director of Communications. Curry Gunn has worked with PlantForm since 2010 to develop the company’s branding and communications strategy. As Director of Communications, she is responsible for advancing PlantForm’s public profile and managing communications with investors, stakeholders and the media. Curry Gunn brings 20 years of experience in public relations, communications and the media to the role.

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Winter 2012

Industry News
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are jockeying for position to develop, manufacture and market biosimilars, as patents on biologic drugs worth an estimated $80B expire by 2013. Amgen Inc. and Watson Pharmaceuticals struck an alliance in December, as did Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Baxter International Inc., and Samsung and Biogen Idec.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 1
CEO Don Stewart will speak at the Life Science Innovation Showcase, hosted by the Canadian embassy in Washington D.C. at 11 a.m.

Feb. 26-28
BioPartnering North America, Vancouver, B.C. PlantForm will present at 1:45 p.m. Feb. 27 in West Meeting Room 101-102.

March 19-21
BIO-Europe Spring 2012, Amsterdam. PlantForm will present March 20 in the 2-4 p.m. oncology session.



Management Team

Don Stewart, PhD
President & CEO

Ron Hosking, CA
Chief Financial Officer

Chris Hall, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

PlantForm is a Canadian company focused on providing

low-cost 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

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PlantForm Corporation · 367 Woodlawn Road West · Guelph, Ontario N1H 7K9

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