TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Medicago produces vaccine candidate for H7N9 virus

Medicago announced on Wednesday that it has produced a vaccine candidate for the H7N9 virus, which has recently seen growing cases in China.

The H7N9 virus is a strain of avian flu and has been responsible for over 31 deaths in China over the past month. There have been 130 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection in China, with the close contacts being closely monitored.

The vaccine is a virus-like particle candidate for the H7N9 virus. It is currently being purified to prepare for upcoming tests for immunogenicity studies in animal models.

"To our knowledge, Medicago is the first to produce a VLP vaccine candidate against this potential pandemic strain demonstrating our ability to be a first responder in a pandemic scenario," Andy Sheldon, president and CEO of Medicago, said. "Current influenza egg based vaccine manufacturers can take up to six months to produce a vaccine for any new strain, we have proven once again that we can cut this development time drastically."

Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel vaccines and therapeutic proteins. Their vaccines and proteins are used to address varying infectious disease from around the world.

"This combined with our vaccine production capacity at our pilot facility in Canada and our commercial facility in North Carolina and our best-in-class efficacy results for our H5N1 vaccine, strongly positions Medicago as a key player in addressing a potential pandemic," Sheldon said.