Ibio Inc (NYSE: IBIO) has been running up the charts in recent days as the overall market have seen their worst week since 2008. While the overall markets collapse some stocks with a coronavirus connection have soared and IBIO has been no exception; earlier this month IBIO announced a collaboration to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using iBio’s FastPharming System. The partnership leverages iBio’s manufacturing processes in plant-based expression systems and CC-Pharming’s work on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. On Friday, IBIO filed a shelf registration to issue up to $100 million in securities.
Markets have suffered their biggest losses since 2008 as coronavirus fears mount. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a significant life-threatening and economic risk throughout the world. Over 82,500 cases have been diagnosed across 48 countries, including here in the U.S., resulting in over 2,800 reported deaths. The Trump Administration is looking to allocate approximately $2.5 billion in emergency funds to help prepare the country should the current coronavirus crisis become a public health care threat in the U.S. Other governments and global health authorities are taking similarly aggressive steps to prepare for the virus’s continued spread.
Ibio Inc (NYSE: IBIO) is a global leader in plant-based biologics manufacturing. Its FastPharming System™ combines vertical farming, automated hydroponics, and glycan engineering technologies to rapidly deliver gram quantities of high-quality monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, bioinks and other proteins. The Company’s subsidiary, iBio CDMO LLC, provides FastPharming Contract Development and Manufacturing Services via its 130,000 square foot facility in Bryan, Texas. iBio CDMO also enables innovators to use the FastPharming System for insourced manufacturing with Factory Solutions “design-and-build” services. Additionally, iBio’s FastGlycaneering Development Service™ includes an array of new glycosylation technologies for engineering high-performance recombinant proteins. iBio is also developing proprietary products which include its lead asset, IBIO-100, for the treatment of fibrotic diseases.
On February 3 IBIO announced its collaboration to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using iBio’s FastPharming System™. The companies are expediting work as predictions about spread of the disease continue to worsen. The joint effort leverages twenty-five years of vaccine research and development experience – inclusive of work on the MERS-coronavirus – by Dr. Kevin Wang (Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, CC-Pharming) along with the decades of experience that Dr. Sylvain Marcel (VP Upstream Bioprocessing, iBio) possesses in the rapid design of manufacturing processes for biopharmaceutical production in plant-based expression systems. If successful, the research will deliver product candidates which can then be quickly produced at iBio’s FastPharming Manufacturing Facility.
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Originally built in 2010 with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, 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.” Accordingly, iBio and CC-Pharming will be in position to rapidly scale-up vaccine/therapeutic candidates that may come from the collaboration by growing large numbers of plants to produce the products.
To date, the FastPharming Technology has been used to produce antibody candidates for Ebola and Dengue fever viruses, while human and animal studies have been completed for vaccine candidates, including yellow fever virus, human papilloma virus, seasonal influenza and avian influenza. Robert B. Kay, iBio’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are optimistic about the potential to combine iBio’s and CC-Pharming’s technical expertise and then deploy the FastPharming System to contribute to the development of a vaccine for this disease.”
Dr. Wang commented, “This is an important collaboration to develop plant-derived vaccine strategies for the emerging coronavirus outbreak here in China, and around the world. iBio’s capabilities will enhance our ability to rapidly scale-up vaccine candidate production in effort to combat the 2019-nCoV virus’ threat to global health.”
IBIO has been running up the charts in recent days as the overall market have seen their worst week since 2008. While the overall markets collapse some stocks with a coronavirus connection have soured. IBIO has moved from under $0.50 to highs over $5; earlier this month IBIO announced a collaboration to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using iBio’s FastPharming System™. The partnership leverages iBio’s manufacturing processes in plant-based expression systems and CC-Pharming’s work on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. On Friday, IBIO filed a shelf registration to issue up to $100 million in securities. We will be updating on IBIO when more details emerge so make sure you are subscribed to Microcapdaily so you know what’s going on with IBIO.
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Disclosure: we hold no position in IBIO either long or short and we have not been compensated for this article.