NEWARK, Del., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO) announced today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a contract to the Company's research and development collaborator, the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology, for a new generation anthrax vaccine to be developed with the iBioLaunch™ Platform under a research license from iBio. The first year of funding will be $1.76 million with a total contract amount of up to $9.9 million, depending on the exercise of contract options.
In October 2012, iBio announced issuance of a U.S. patent covering compositions of matter and methods of producing anthrax vaccines, an expansion of the Company's portfolio of assets relevant to bio-defense and infectious disease product applications. Data previously published in peer-reviewed scientific journals demonstrated the effectiveness of the iBioLaunch platform for development and production of vaccine candidates for both bacterial pathogens, such as plague and anthrax, and viral pathogens such as influenza and human papilloma virus.
"The award of this contract to Fraunhofer is an important expression of confidence in the importance of our iBioLaunch and iBioModulator™ technologies," said Terence Ryan, iBio's Chief Scientific Officer. "We believe that our portfolio of highly protective anthrax vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, along with this expanded anthrax initiative, will generate significant commercial interest in other novel applications of our technology."iBio's strategy for development of therapeutic and vaccine product applications of its technology platforms is through commercial collaboration and licensing internationally with corporations and government entities. In September 2012, iBio and GE Healthcare announced the formation of a new global alliance, and the Company's technology is being used for development of a new recombinant yellow fever vaccine under a commercial license and product development collaboration with Fiocruz/Bio-Manguinhos. Phase 1 clinical trials of influenza vaccine candidates produced via the iBioLaunch platform were funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. iBio previously announced success in the use of its platform for the production of a variety of therapeutic protein candidates including monoclonal antibodies and human blood plasma proteins. The Company is currently seeking additional partners for new vaccine candidates and for biotherapeutic products based on its platform technologies. About iBio, Inc.