iBio (NYSE AMERICAN:IBIO) reported progress toward developing vaccine candidates for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In a matter of a few weeks, the company used its FastPharming system to create SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particle (VLP)-based constructs, producing the nanoparticles in, and purifying them from, plants. The manufacturing platform is readily scalable for producing doses for clinical trial and commercial use.
iBio recently filed four related provisional patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“We are pleased with both the speed of our development activities and the quality of the VLPs our technology is yielding in practice,” Tom Isett, iBio’s co-chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
“The tightly controlled particle size allows for uniform antigen display, which should translate to a consistent dose response and a highly efficient production process, facilitating a ramp-up to tens of millions of doses if we are successful in the clinic,” he added.
Originally built in 2010 with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the U.S. DoD, iBio’s FastPharming facility was part of the “Blue Angel” initiative to establish facilities capable of rapid delivery of medical countermeasures in response to a disease pandemic. The factory is equipped with automated hydroponics and vertical farming systems for the production of a wide array of biological medicines using a relative of the tobacco plant as the “bioreactor.”