iBio tests malaria vaccine

iBio, Inc., a plant-made pharmaceutical company, announced the successful animal testing of a malaria vaccine candidate on Thursday that was produced using its proprietary iBioLaunch platform.

The candidate vaccine antigen, based on a portion of Pfs230 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and tested on rabbits, produced a high-titer of anti-parasite antibodies. The antibodies blocked parasite transmission in a standard membrane feeding assay.

The antigen was produced in whole plants at a high yield and was found to be 100 percent soluble in the plant tissue. Previous efforts by others to produce the antigen in yeast and bacterial systems had failed to generate the 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," Robert Kay, iBio's chairman and chief executive officer, said. "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, such as monoclonal antibodies and other vaccines and therapeutics. The company uses proprietary, transient gene expression in unmodified green plants instead of materials like chicken eggs, human blood plasma, transgenic plants, and mammalian and insect cells to produce biologic pharmaceuticals.