PlantForm | Newsroom | PlantForm awarded federal government contract for production of anti-nerve-agent enzyme

PlantForm awarded federal government contract for production of anti-nerve-agent enzyme

GUELPH, Ont., Dec. 10, 2014—PlantForm Corporation 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 is from December 3, 2014 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 pleased to use 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.

About PlantForm Corporation PlantForm was established in 2008 to commercialize a low-cost, tobacco-plant-based manufacturing system for biopharmaceutical production. The vivoXPRESS™ platform technology, which has been issued two U.S. patents to date, provides high drug expression levels and fully mammalian glycosylation, and lowers the cost of goods by as much as 90 per cent compared to mammalian-cell production systems. The company’s pipeline includes biosimilar Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and other biosimilar drugs for the treatment of cancer, and innovator antibodies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. See an infographic explaining how the vivoXPRESS™ manufacturing system works.

Learn more about Defence Research and Development Canada at or follow @drdc_rddc on Twitter.


For more information, please contact:

   Don Stewart
   President and CEO
   (416) 452-7242

   Stacey Curry Gunn
   Director of Communications
   (519) 827-1131

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