Welcome to the inaugural issue of PlantForm’s quarterly newsletter!

PlantForm has accomplished a great deal in the two years since incorporation, including reaching a licensing agreement with the University of Guelph for technology from Dr. Chris Hall’s lab. This technology allows us to manufacture pharmaceuticals in plants. It is a quick and inexpensive method of making complicated human antibodies and vaccines. Patent applications on this and related technologies have been filed. 

Our first product is trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody currently marketed under the trade name Herceptin.  It is used to treat breast cancer patients and currently costs approximately $40,000 per course of treatment.  Herceptin’s patents expire in Europe in 2014 and in the U.S. in 2017.  Early tests show our plant-derived trastuzumab kills breast cancer cells as effectively as the name brand.

Despite the global economic downturn last year, we have now raised sufficient funds to begin conducting preclinical tests in animal models. These are required by the regulatory authorities to prove the safety and efficacy of our product.

PlantForm’s Board of Directors has a very high level of confidence in the ability of our CEO, Dr. Don Stewart, and our CFO, Ron Hosking, to advance PlantForm’s strategy. 

We have some very exciting months ahead of us and I will keep you informed of our progress through these quarterly newsletters.  I thank our shareholders for investing in PlantForm and all readers of this newsletter for your interest in the company.

Mark Goldberg, PhD, DABT

Advancing our program on key fronts

PlantForm is currently focused on two key strategic objectives:
  • determining manufacturing costs for our first plant-derived drug in a scaled manufacturing process, and
  • showing the activity of this trastuzumab (Herceptin) molecule compared to the name brand drug. 
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dennis Yu will lead our process development efforts as we establish the required laboratory capabilities to advance our program. Dennis brings many years of experience in biological drug development with an Asian biotechnology company and most recently conducted academic research at McMaster University.

PlantForm has been invited to participate in the Beer & Partners London Investment Fair in May, as a result of attending the BioTrinity 2010 investment conference in England this month thanks to the support of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Trade and the Canadian High Commission in London. 

We will also participate in the partnering program at the 2010 BIO International Convention in Chicago in May.

Over the last six months, PlantForm has raised approximately $650,000 in cash and kind from shareholders. This has been leveraged by an additional $275,000 from other sources, including:
  • a commitment of in-kind research services worth $100,000 over the next year;
  • $110,000 over two years from MITACS Industrial Fellowship Awards, a federally funded research network, to support staffing our process development team; and
  • $65,000 in funding from the Ontario Commercialization Investment Fund to match angel investments to the end of 2009.
Decisions are pending on our applications for a number of other leveraged funding programs.

We are pleased to keep you informed of our progress and to hear your suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact our CFO, Ron Hosking, or myself at any time.

Don Stewart
President & CEO
April 2010

"PlantForm is ideally positioned to meet the fast-growing demand for affordable antibody medicines:  it has a novel, versatile and scalable manufacturing platform with an excellent management team that can execute on a well thought out plan."

Peter Pekos
PlantForm investor
President & CEO, Dalton Chemical
Laboratories Inc.

Industry news

Abbott Acquires Facet Biotech
The deal — worth a total of $450 million — gives Abbott access to biologics in two key therapeutic areas: immunology and oncology.

Ensemble Discovery partners with Pfizer
Strategic alliance aims to discover and develop novel drugs against high-value pharmaceutical targets.

Pfizer-Protalix Deal Bolsters Competition for Genzyme
Pfizer has agreed to pay at least $60 million for rights to Protalix BioTherapeutics’s experimental drug for Gaucher’s disease.

An independent expert panel of Canadian and U.S. venture capitalists selected PlantForm as a leading investment opportunity and winner in the life sciences category of Canada’s Top 10™ Competition (2008-09).

Management Team

Don Stewart, PhD

President & CEO

Ron Hosking, CA
Chief Financial Officer

Chris Hall, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

Board of Directors

Mark Goldberg, PhD (Chair)

Founder & Director R&D
GlobalTox, a division of MTE Consultants Inc.

Jim Rae
CEO, Viron Therapeutics

Warren Whitehead
former CFO, Arius Research

Chris Hall, PhD
CSO, PlantForm Corp.

Don Stewart, PhD
President & CEO, PlantForm Corp.
PlantForm is a Canadian company focused on providing
low-cost therapeutic antibody drugs that improve quality of life.

Our mailing address is:
367 Woodlawn Rd W., Unit 6
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1H 7K9
For more information, contact:
Don Stewart
President & CEO