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Jul 21, 2009

Medicago and Genopole to Set Up Plant in France for Influenza Vaccine Production

  • Medicago and Genopole® biopark agreed to work together to build a facility to manufacture pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines in France. They believe that it could complement France's existing domestic flu vaccine production infrastructure by offering surge capacity of vaccines before the first wave of a pandemic strikes.

    Construction is conditional upon Medicago's successful completion of a Phase I trial with its H5N1 pandemic influenza vaccine and a reasonable level of commitment by the French authorities to support this technology, the firms report. This agreement builds on a feasibility study that was completed this year to evaluate the economic and technological viability of a novel vaccine production facility in France.

    The facility will be based on Medicago's Proficia™ plant-based manufacturing technology and VLP vaccine technology on Genopole's site in Evry, France. It will initially produce pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines. In the long-term it could be used for a broad range of vaccines and other biodefense-related products, according to the firms.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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