Medicago to develop two Ebola antibodies under PHAC contract

Medicago to develop two Ebola antibodies under PHAC contract. | Courtesy of the CDC
Medicago, Inc., announced last week that they have signed a contract with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to develop two antibodies to fight against the Sudan strain of the Ebola virus.

Medicago specializes in the development of plant-based therapeutics and vaccine candidates. The company said that it was successful in developing candidate vaccines for the H1N1 and H7N9 strains of influenza in 2009 and 2013, respectively. Utilizing plant subjects, these candidates were produced within 19 days, compared to traditional methods utilizing eggs that can take many months to complete.

"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," Andy Sheldon, CEO of Medicago, 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."

The Sudan variant of Ebola has been the cause of previous outbreaks of the disease in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. These antibodies will be utilized in emergency preparedness and response efforts to combat future Ebola virus outbreaks.

The company recently completed a similar contract with the U.S. that studied the possibilities of creating antibodies against the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus.

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