PlantForm’s vivoXPRESS® tobacco plant technology platform is designed to deliver a wide range of biopharmaceutical products, including therapeutic and medical countermeasure drugs. Our pipeline includes:
PlantForm’s lead product is a biosimilar version of Roche’s age-related macular degeneration (AMD) drug Lucentis®, the brand name for ranibizumab.
Lucentis® had sales of C$4.8 billion in 2015 and begins to lose patent protecting in 2020 in the United States and 2022 in Europe. A treatment course with Lucentis® can cost as much as $30,000 per patient. PlantForm expects its plant-based production system will lower manufacturing costs by as much as 90 per cent.
Laboratory studies have shown that PlantForm’s biosimilar ranibizumab antibody drug is produced at commercially viable production rates and interacts with the receptor-binding site on VEGF-A as expected. Human clinical trials are expected to begin in the next 18-24 months.
PlantForm expects to launch biosimilar ranibizumab, in partnership with a pharmaceutical company, in world markets in 2022. PlantForm management estimates the total market potential for all biosimilar AMD products will be $3.5 billion a year by 2022.
PlantForm is also developing biobetter versions of two additional biologic drugs which are recombinant replacement versions of plasma-derived drugs
PlantForm is advancing a plant produced trastuzumab for a novel indication, which has been licensed by the company (nerve regeneration after acute trauma).
hD9 Antibody for ricin exposure
PlantForm is using its vivoXPRESS® system to produce an innovator antibody being studied by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) as an antidote to ricin exposure. The hD9 antibody drug candidate developed by DRDC prevents ricin from penetrating cells.
Recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rBuChE)
Butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) is an enzyme that has been developed as a bioscavenger to provide prophylactic protection against nerve agents, such as sarin gas. 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. PlantForm continues to advance its BuChE program under contract with Defence Research and Development Canada.
Antibodies for HIV/AIDS
PlantForm is developing innovator antibodies for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), with funding from the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through NRC-IRAP's Canadian HIV Technology Development (CHTD) Program. These antibodies fight infection by disrupting the virus's method of entry into human CD4+ lymphocytes (T-cells).
Antibodies for Ebola virus (Sudan)
Antibodies produced using PlantForm's vivoXPRESS® biopharmaceutical manufacturing system have been shown to neutralize the Sudan strain of Ebola as well as antibodies produced using other systems, according to analyses performed by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) with funding support and technical advisory services from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
PlantForm is interested in establishing partnerships with other companies to develop additional targeted biosimilar and innovator drugs.