DARPA awarded $12 million to Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) and iBioPharma to accelerate pharmaceutical manufacture. The goal is to demonstrate that CMB’s plant-based production system can rapidly produce safe, effective vaccines against any rapidly emerging threat agent.
Specifically the platform will need to generate three million doses of vaccine within 12 weeks of an outbreak at low cost using under a highly resilient and controlled environment.
The funding follows a successful Phase I program in which the team completed optimization and feasibility studies. Fraunhofer reports that its vaccine platform combines the short growing cycle of nontransgenic plants with proprietary gene expression technology to create rapid and time-efficient vaccine antigens.
iBioPharma owns and has exclusive worldwide commercial rights in the field of human medicine and for certain veterinary applications to the intellectual property, technology, and products used in this program.