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January 08, 2013

Medicago Awarded ID/IQ Contract from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Medicago Inc., a bio pharmaceutical company developing effective and competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLP), has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Officials with Medicago said the company is now allowed to bid for the manufacturing and delivery of certain tobacco-produced proteins, for which the company has already demonstrated a proven ability.

Medicago reportedly 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, in a statement.

"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," said Wanner.

According to company officials, Medicago USA, Inc. was previously awarded a $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 in July of 2012, 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.

Earlier in December, Medicago and Folia Biotech, a private biotechnology firm that focuses on vaccine enhancement using plant virus recombinant protein (papaya mosaic virus) as an adjuvant, had announced the receipt of $415,000 in financial support from the Quebec government and the municipality of Quebec City to fund a feasibility study for a unique biopharmaceutical production project, known as BioProduction21 – part of the Quebec Region's Life Science ACCORD Cluster.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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