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Alliance Formed to Commercialize Green Plant Biotherapeutics

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 09 Aug 2012
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An international alliance has been formed to commercialize the manufacture and marketing of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines derived from plant-based technologies.

GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, United Kingdom), one of the world's major biotech enterprises with broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, will be taking the lead role in the effort to commercialize biopharmaceutical products produced with the iBio, Inc. (Newark, DE, USA) innovative plant-based manufacturing platform, iBioLaunch.

The iBioLaunch platform, which was developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) (Newark, DE, USA) is a proprietary, transformative technology for the production of biologics including monoclonal antibodies, other therapeutic proteins, and vaccines. It uses proprietary, transient gene expression in unmodified green plants instead of materials such as chicken eggs, mammalian and insect cells, transgenic plants, and human blood plasma required by other systems, to produce important biologic pharmaceuticals. According to iBio this unique plant-based platform offers a number of significant advantages over other systems including the ability to synthesize complex proteins at which other systems have failed. The green plant platform is characterized by its simplicity, scalability, and flexibility while allowing for reduced capital investment and lower operating costs. In addition, the method enables rapid production times from generation of the gene sequence to the attainment of factory-scale protein harvest. The process eliminates the need of bioreactors and has the benefit of low risk of contamination by animal pathogens.

Bioengineers and bioprocessing experts at GE Healthcare will be working with researchers from iBio and CMB 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.

“We are delighted to form this new global alliance with iBio, who share our vision of bringing affordable and flexible manufacturing capabilities to the producers of these vital, lifesaving medicines. We look forward to continuing our work with the talented teams at iBio and CMB to explore how this innovative technology could become a commercial reality,” said Olivier Loeillot, general manager of enterprise solutions at GE Healthcare.

Robert B. Kay, CEO of iBio, said, “We are delighted to be extending our alliance with GE Healthcare. 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.”

Dr. Vidadi Yusibov, executive director of CMB, said, “We are pleased to continue and extend our relationship with iBio and GE Healthcare. The collective experience and skills of the teams at CMB, iBio, and GE Healthcare combined with CMB’s cutting edge pilot facilities in Delaware gives us a great opportunity to accelerate the implementation of this technology.”

Related Links:

GE Healthcare
iBio, Inc.
Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology



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