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.