iBio, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: IBIO) today announced successful animal testing of a malaria vaccine candidate produced using its proprietary iBioLaunch™ platform and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Results were published in the August issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology by scientists from iBio’s research partner, the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology, along with collaborators in the Netherlands, Japan, and the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland.
The candidate vaccine antigen, based on a portion of Pfs230 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, produced a high-titer of anti-parasite antibodies in rabbits, and these antibodies blocked transmission of the parasite in a standard membrane feeding assay. The antigen was produced in whole plants at a high yield (~800mg per kg of fresh whole leaf tissue) and found to be 100% soluble in the plant tissue. Previous efforts by others to produce this antigen in bacterial and yeast systems failed to generate correctly-folded antigen that could stimulate the production of transmission-blocking antibodies.
“This successful use of our iBioLaunch platform for this product application is a solid advance in the worldwide campaign against malaria,” said Robert Kay, iBio’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This is also another important example, like our recently announced success with a challenging hookworm antigen, of the value of our technology to enable products that might not otherwise be possible.”
The iBioLaunch platform is broadly applicable, and can deliver significant competitive advantages, to all biologic categories, including monoclonal antibodies, other therapeutics and vaccines. iBio’s business development program offers numerous commercial product opportunities in each of these market areas.About iBio, Inc. iBio, a leader in the plant-made pharmaceutical field, develops and offers pharmaceutical product applications using its iBioLaunch™ platform. The iBioLaunch platform is a proprietary, transformative technology for biologics including monoclonal antibodies, other therapeutic proteins and vaccines. It uses proprietary, transient gene expression in unmodified green plants instead of materials such as chicken eggs, mammalian and insect cells, transgenic plants, and human blood plasma required by other systems, to produce important biologic pharmaceuticals. Advantages over other systems include speed, economy, flexibility and safety. The platform has demonstrated: success with products difficult or impossible to produce by other methods; rapid development and validation of modular, scalable (and optionally robotic) multi-product manufacturing facilities; production time measured in weeks instead of months or more; and practically unlimited surge capacity for remedial action against bioterrorism and pandemic disease. Additional benefits include product entry unconstrained by traditional process patents and significantly lower capital and operating costs for comparable production. Further information is available at www.ibioinc.com. Forward-Looking Statements Statements included in this news release related to iBio, Inc. may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties such as competitive factors, technological development, market demand, and the Company's ability to obtain new contracts and accurately estimate net revenues due to variability in size, scope and duration of projects. Further information on potential risk factors that could affect the Company's financial results can be found in the company's Reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.