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INSIDE INDUSTRY
Medicago awarded contract from the U.S. Department of Defence
Medicago Inc. announced that it has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) based on Medicago having met all the technical requirement standards for the contract. As a result of Medicago having met these requirements and standards, the company is now allowed to bid for the manufacture and delivery of certain tobacco-produced proteins, for which Medicago has already demonstrated a proven ability. The company intends to bid on these orders when solicitations are next issued by the U.S. government and may be awarded production contracts.

“This contract is important as Medicago is now listed as a company meeting all of DARPA’s rigorous technical requirements,” said Mike Wanner, Executive Vice President of Operations at Medicago. “This fits Medicago’s revenue-generation model nicely as we can leverage our cost-effective commercial production facility in North Carolina to bid for production orders when they are issued by the U.S. government.”

Medicago USA, Inc. was previously awarded a US$21 million non-dilutive Technology Investment Agreement with DARPA for a proof of concept demonstration to produce 10 million doses of a vaccine candidate in 30 days.  The DARPA project was successfully completed, for which Medicago USA Inc. successfully completed every milestone including the production of more than 10 million doses of immunogenic vaccine in less than 30 calendar days as qualified by animal studies.

Medicago’s pipeline includes a number of clinical trials for 2013 including: the initiation of a U.S. Phase IIa clinical trial for a quadrivalent seasonal flu vaccine with interim data expected in summer of 2013; a Phase I clinical trial for an H5N1 VLP vaccine with a new adjuvant that is ongoing in partnership with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI).  Interim data are expected in the first quarter of 2013 and a new clinical trial of the H5N1 VLP vaccine designed to determine the lowest possible dose by two different administration routes (IM and ID) and combining the vaccine with a GLA adjuvant is planned to start in spring of 2013, with interim data expected in summer of 2013.

Along with clinical trials, Medicago will be continuing their GMP process development and a GLP toxicology study for a rabies vaccine. The company is also working with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma under a strategic alliance to develop a vaccine for rotavirus and at least two additional vaccine candidates and in addition to vaccines; Medicago is conducting research and development in the area of biosimilar products.

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