GUELPH, Ont., Canada, April 16, 2018— AntoXa Corporation has obtained a license from Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC), an Agency of the Canadian Department of National Defence, to develop and produce an anti-ricin monoclonal antibody for sale in markets worldwide.
The licensing agreement follows work AntoXa and the J.C. Hall laboratory at the University of Guelph conducted with DRDC to develop and produce the plant-made antibody PhD9 as a medical countermeasure for ricin exposure, a program that has received more than $600,000 (CAD) from the Government of Canada since 2014.
“We anticipate market entry for the PhD9 anti-ricin antibody within two to three years, a timeline that is dependent on raising the necessary funds for scale up and other activities necessary to obtain regulatory approvals,” said Ashley Meyers, AntoXa Chief Technical Officer.
“This antibody will be produced in the vivoXPRESS® plant-based manufacturing system licensed from PlantForm Corporation, which uniquely addresses the critical need for cost-effective, large-scale production of antidotes for ricin and other potential terrorism threats.”
Ricin is a naturally occurring protein from the castor-bean plant, Ricinus communis. It is extremely toxic to humans when inhaled or injected and is listed as a Category B threat agent by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention due to its ease of production, worldwide availability, relative stability and extreme lethality. There is currently no approved antidote against ricin poisoning. It acts very quickly and leaves a short window for administering therapeutic antibodies.
The PhD9 antibody drug candidate prevents ricin from penetrating cells. DRDC conducted in vitro and in vivo studies that found the plant-made version of the antibody showed therapeutic efficacy against ricin intoxication. The findings were presented at the Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics Conference in December 2015.
Next steps for the commercialization of PhD9 are transitioning to large-scale GMP manufacturing, product characterization, animal safety and efficacy studies, and a Phase 1 human clinical trial. Medical countermeasures do not require Phase 2 and Phase 3 human efficacy trials for ethical reasons, therefore the path to regulatory approval is shorter than for other pharmaceuticals.
About AntoXa Corporation (www.antoxacorp.com)
AntoXa Corporation is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company developing medical countermeasures to protect military and civilian personnel from biological and chemical agents, as well as outbreaks of naturally occurring infectious diseases.
A wholly-owned subsidiary of PlantForm Corporation, AntoXa holds an exclusive licence to the vivoXPRESS® biopharmaceutical manufacturing platform to produce countermeasures for ricin, sarin, soman and Ebola Sudan, as well as other defence-related therapeutics.
vivoXPRESS® technology uses genetically engineered tobacco plants to produce biopharmaceuticals in less than six weeks at a significantly lower cost of goods compared to industry standard fermentation systems.
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For more information, please contact:
President and CEO, AntoXa Corp.
Stacey Curry Gunn
Director of Communications, AntoXa Corp.