CHALFONT ST GILES, U.K. and NEWARK, Del., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) and iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO), today announced GE Healthcare has signed a contract to design a new plant-based multipurpose manufacturing facility for Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz in Brazil. The design project is the first contract for the global alliance between GE Healthcare and iBio, announced in 2012. The alliance combines iBio's innovative plant-based manufacturing platform, iBioLaunch TM, with GE Healthcare's capabilities in process design and start-to-finish biopharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing technologies.
Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz is recognized internationally as a manufacturer of immunobiologicals for public health needs, primarily to support Brazilian Ministry of Health programs. It has invested in the development of bioprocess technologies such as iBioLaunch, through a co-development agreement with iBio and its research and development collaborator Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FCMB), which will continue to play a key role in advancing iBioLaunch.
Olivier Loeillot, General Manager of Enterprise Solutions at GE Healthcare said: "Vaccines are vital in the fight against global disease and we're pleased to be working with Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz on this important project. GE Healthcare's global capabilities and industry-leading expertise in biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, coupled with iBio's innovative technology and experience in plant-based protein expression, provide a solid foundation for this design project. By working closely with the team at Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz we will together design a state-of-the-art, technologically-advanced facility that's ready to meet the vaccine needs of tomorrow."Artur Couto, Director of Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz said: "In order to accomplish our mission and to meet the Brazilian Ministry of Health's demands, we are constantly investing in innovative technologies. The agreement with GE Healthcare is important because it will allow us to build a new facility based on a very innovative platform and address an important need of the Brazilian Ministry of Health." About GE Healthcare GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com. About iBio, Inc. iBio develops and offers product applications of its iBioLaunch™ platform, providing collaborators full support for turn-key implementation of its technology for both proprietary and biosimilar products. The iBioLaunch platform is a proprietary, transformative technology for development and production of biologics using transient gene expression in unmodified green plants. Advantages over other systems include: success with proteins difficult or impossible to produce with other methods; broadly applicable to biologics, including monoclonal antibodies, other therapeutic proteins and vaccines; enables rapid development and validation of modular, scalable, and optionally robotic, multi-product manufacturing facilities; production time measured in weeks instead of months or more. Additional benefits include a practically unlimited surge capacity for remedial action against bioterrorism and pandemic disease; product entry that is unconstrained by traditional process patents, and significantly lower capital and operating costs for comparable production. The iBioModulator™ platform is complementary to the iBioLaunch platform and enables significantly improved vaccine products with higher potency and greater duration of effect. Further information is available at: www.ibioinc.com. About Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz Bio-Manguinhos is a techno-scientific unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). Fiocruz is a centennial institution belonging to the Brazilian Ministry of Health with several institutes working on different health related areas (R&D, scientific information, history, education, manufacturing and health care). Bio-Manguinhos develops and manufactures vaccines, biotherapeutics and diagnostics to address the public health needs indicated by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Currently, Bio-Manguinhos product list comprises 10 vaccines, 11 diagnostics and 2 bio therapeutics.