PlantForm | Newsroom | PlantForm receives Government of Canada support for Ebola antibody feasibility study

PlantForm receives Government of Canada support for Ebola antibody feasibility study

Collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases will test production of Ebola Sudan antibodies in PlantForm’s vivoXPRESS™ system

GUELPH, Ont., Dec. 22, 2014—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.

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 biosimilar Avastin® (bevacizumab) for the treatment of cancer, and innovator antibodies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  

See an infographic explaining how the vivoXPRESS™ manufacturing system works.

About U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

USAMRIID’s mission is to provide leading edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents. Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to medical solutions—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and information—that benefit both military personnel and civilians. The Institute plays a key role as the lead military medical research laboratory for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.



For more information, please contact:

   Don Stewart
   President and CEO
   (416) 452-7242

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


The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the United States Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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