Image

GE Healthcare, iBio Join to Use Plant-based Technologies to Manufacture Biopharmaceuticals

July 27, 2012
Companies also working together to develop a a single, flexible facility which could significantly reduce operating costs.

Using iBio's plant-based vaccine manufacturing platform and GE Healthcare's technological experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, the two companies on Thursday announced they will commercialize plant-based technologies for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines.

The iBioLaunch platform is a gene expression technology that induces plants to rapidly produce high levels of proteins such as vaccines, in a process which can be scaled-up in low cost, controlled-growth facilities.

GE Healthcare’s global team of bioengineers and bioprocessing scientists are working with researchers from iBio and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology to develop a single, flexible facility which could significantly reduce the capital and operating costs of biotherapeutic and vaccine manufacture compared with traditional animal cell and microbial based methods. The iBioLaunch platform also has the potential to manufacture proteins which cannot be commercially produced in any other system.

iBio's pioneering plant-based technology has been used to produce an avian influenza vaccine candidate that recently completed a successful Phase I clinical trial. The work was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The iBioLaunch platform was also used to produce a candidate vaccine against H1N1 influenza, for which a human Phase I trial was successfully completed in March, 2012.

"We look forward to working together on the development of a flexible and cost-effective plant-based manufacturing platform that has the potential to assist in the global effort to increase access to biotherapeutics and help reduce the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases," Robert B. Kay, CEO of iBio Inc.

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!