iBio, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: IBIO) today announced that its proprietary iBioLaunch™ Platform successfully expressed the hookworm-derived molecule known as NaAPR1M-74, which will be evaluated as a potential vaccine candidate for human hookworm disease. The expression of this antigen represents a major breakthrough in the development of a human hookworm vaccine. Such a vaccine will provide significant public health benefit by preventing a parasitic disease that currently affects more than 576 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of anemia in the world’s poorest countries. This accomplishment highlights the ability of iBioLaunch technology to overcome inherent limitations of other expression systems. The success resulted from collaboration between iBio’s research partner, the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FCMB), and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Production of initial quantities of partially purified NaAPR1M-74 was completed last week at FCMB’s pilot manufacturing facility employing the iBioLaunch Technology. This product was later transferred to Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR) for final purification to formulate enough material to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials. “We are very pleased with the success in expressing a pilot batch of this antigen in collaboration with iBio and FCMB,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, President of Sabin Vaccine Institute. “It has been extremely difficult to produce this protein effectively, as evidenced by multiple prior unsuccessful attempts using traditional production systems.” “The expression of this complex protein with the iBioLaunch™ Platform not only moves us closer to a solution for hundreds of millions of people who suffer from hookworm, but also bodes well for other complex protein expression challenges,” said Dr. Philip Russell, a member of the Board of Trustees of Sabin Vaccine Institute and member of the Board of Directors of iBio. Clinical trials will be conducted by the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative (HHVI). Established in 2000 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and with additional support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the HHVI is the first and only program that aims to reduce the prevalence of human hookworm infection through research and development, timely dissemination of results, innovation, and advocacy.
About iBio, Inc.iBio, Inc. is a biotechnology company offering its proprietary, transformative iBioLaunch technology platform for the production of biologics including therapeutic proteins and vaccines. The iBioLaunch platform uses transient gene expression in green plants for superior efficiency in protein production. Advantages include significantly lower capital and process costs, and the technology is ideally suited for complex proteins and for applications where speed, scalability, and surge capacity are important. The iBioLaunch technology was developed for iBio by the not-for-profit Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FCMB) during the past eight years to overcome the inadequacies of existing technologies. iBio granted a fully paid-up, non-exclusive, non-commercial license to the iBioLaunch Technology solely for the purpose of developing, manufacturing and distributing hookworm vaccine for Global Access Objectives – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation program to provide vaccines for the people most in need within developing countries of the world – reserving a right of first refusal to provide each of technology transfer and/or manufacturing services required to achieve the Global Access objectives on a commercially reasonable, competitive and sustainable cost basis. iBio owns the intellectual property and technology developed at FCMB, and continues to sponsor development and application of the technology for biological applications in human health. Further information is available at www.ibioinc.com. About Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology Fraunhofer USA CMB, a division of Fraunhofer USA, Inc., is a not-for-profit research organization whose mission is to develop safe and effective vaccines targeting infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders. The technology CMB developed for iBio, Inc. provides a safe, rapid and economical alternative for both vaccine and therapeutic protein production. The Center conducts research in the area of plant biotechnology, utilizing new, cutting edge technologies applicable to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human and animal diseases. The Center houses individuals with expertise and excellence in plant virology, pathology, molecular biology, immunology, vaccinology, protein engineering, and biochemistry. Further information is available at www.fraunhofer-cmb.org. About Sabin Vaccine Institute Sabin Vaccine Institute is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization of scientists, researchers, and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering caused by vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases. Sabin works with governments, leading public and private organizations, and academic institutions to provide solutions for some of the world’s most pervasive health care challenges. Since its founding in 1993 in honor of the oral polio vaccine developer, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to control, treat, and eliminate vaccine preventable and neglected tropical diseases by developing new vaccines, advocating use of existing vaccines, and promoting increased access to affordable medical treatments. For more information, please visit www.sabin.org. 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.