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Medicago succesfully expresses VLP antigen for A H1N1 strain
Date:5/12/2009

QUEBEC CITY, May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Medicago Inc. (TSX-V: MDG), a biotechnology company focused on developing highly effective and affordable vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced that it has successfully expressed a new VLP antigen ("H1 VLP") from the influenza A (H1N1) strain that caused the recent Influenza outbreak in North America and other countries. The antigen was expressed within 14 days of receiving the DNA sequence with the Company's VLP vaccine technology and Proficia(TM) manufacturing technology.

Initial results show that the new H1 VLP is comparable to other VLPs recently expressed by Medicago such as the New Caledonia strain (H1N1) and Brisbane strain (H1N1). The primary goal of this initiative was to confirm, in a real case-scenario, Medicago's initial development timelines. Medicago requires the genetic sequence of the virus, limiting delays that may happen with traditional systems. The H1 VLP will be purified in preparation for an immunogenicity study in mice. The Company expects results from this study in June, with the goal of confirming the immunogenic potential of this H1 VLP.

"We are thrilled with these initial results. They demonstrate that we can rapidly express an antigen from a new influenza strain without modifying our current technology and could potentially be a first responder solution in the face of a pandemic," said Louis-Philippe Vezina, Chief Scientific Officer of Medicago. "Our ultimate goal is to provide a rapid approach to vaccine production allowing for immediate access to the antigens of emerging influenza strains. Current influenza vaccine manufacturing technologies can take up to six months to produce a vaccine for a new strain. With our proprietary technology we believe we can potentially cut development time up to five months."

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