PlantForm, Aix-Marseille University sign material transfer agreement for biosimilar ranibizumab to advance eye disease therapy
GUELPH, Ont., CANADA, Feb. 22, 2022 — Canadian biopharmaceutical company PlantForm Corporation and scientists at Aix-Marseille University and The National Centre for Scientific Research in France have announced a material transfer agreement that will provide biosimilar ranibizumab for research aimed at developing a better drug delivery system for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Ranibizumab (sold under the brand name Lucentis®) is a monoclonal antibody drug that is injected into the eye to slow vision loss in patients who have the “wet” type of AMD, which is the most serious form of the disease and is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind the retina.
Under the terms of the three-year collaboration, PlantForm will supply non-glycosylated ranibizumab made using its rapid, low-cost, plant-based vivoXPRESS® manufacturing system.
“Ranibizumab is one of the lead biosimilar products in our pipeline, so it’s exciting to partner with researchers who want to use it in research that may lead to innovative new therapies for a disease that affects millions of people around the world,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm’s President and CEO.
The research project is led by Professor Elisabeth Badens and Doctor Yasmine Masmoudi, experts on supercritical fluids. Because of their unique liquid-like and gas-like properties, supercritical fluid technologies are increasingly being used in the pharmaceutical industry to solve difficult processing problems in extracting, purifying and recrystallizing substances for regenerative medicine. The “Processes & Supercritical Fluids” research team, together with Professor Frédéric Matonti (Centre Monticelli Paradis Marseille), plan to use PlantForm’s ranibizumab and supercritical carbon dioxide to develop a sustained-release injection for treating AMD.
Patent protection for Lucentis® has expired in the U.S. and expires in Europe in 2022, opening a potential global market of $3.3 billion for biosimilars focused on AMD. PlantForm has completed proof-of-principle studies for manufacturing a best-in-class version of the drug and is scaling up its production process to meet GMP requirements for clinical trials.
About PlantForm Corporation(www.plantformcorp.com)
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.
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