SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Medicago to create monoclonal antibodies for Ebola

Medicago to create monoclonal antibodies for Ebola | Courtesy of waterandhealth.org
Medicago, a top Canadian company that develops and manufactures plant-based vaccines and therapeutics, recently earned a contract from the Public Health Agency of Canada to create monoclonal antibodies for Ebola.

Creating these antibodies will allow Canada to produce monoclonal antibodies to better prepare for emergency and response efforts. Responding to the Ebola outbreak as early as possible is crucial to the success of maintaining and eliminating the virus. Having antibodies of the Sudan strain on hand will enable health workers to do this more efficiently.

The two antibodies must be designed to fight specifically the virus’ Sudan strain. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that this strain has been responsible for other Ebola outbreaks in Africa.

Medicago, which will use its Quebec City facilities to create the Ebola antibodies, has collaborated with the Canadian government on the Sudan strain’s lineage. They are basing their work on what has already been accomplished with Ebola’s Zaire strain, which caused the Ebola outbreak and crisis in West Africa.

"Medicago will be using its technology and manufacturing system to collaborate with the Canadian government to provide a solution for the possible re-emergence of this devastating disease," Medicago CEO Andy Sheldon said. "We are also proud to work on a Canadian solution that can be employed as a response to other biological threats that may impact national and international security in the future."

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