Medicago Inc. (MDCGF: OTCQX International) | Immune Design and Medicago Announce License Agreement and Collaboration to Develop Novel Adjuvanted Pandemic Influenza Vaccines

SEATTLE and QUEBEC CITY, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Immune Design, a leader
in the field of therapeutic vaccines for cancer, infectious diseases
and allergy, and Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG; OTCQX: MDCGF), a
biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective and
competitive vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies
and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), today announced that they have entered
a license agreement providing Medicago the use and commercialization of
Immune Design’s proprietary synthetic Toll-like Receptor 4 agonist,
Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA). Medicago has the option to use Immune
Design’s molecular adjuvant in its vaccines for various pandemic
influenza strains.

Under the terms of the agreement, Immune Design has granted Medicago a
worldwide, nonexclusive license to research, develop, and commercialize
GLA as a component of its VLP-based vaccines in the field of pandemic
influenza. Other terms were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to enter into this collaboration with Medicago and allow
for our proprietary adjuvant to be utilized in their vaccine candidates
for pandemic influenza,” states Carlos Paya, MD, PhD, Immune Design’s
President and Chief Executive Officer. “Medicago has demonstrated a
track record to date, of rapid and successful vaccine candidates design
and production which have them at the forefront of next generation
vaccine development.”

“The established clinical safety and immunogenicity profile of Immune
Design’s synthetic TLR4 agonist, GLA, make it an ideal adjuvant for our
VLP-based influenza vaccine candidates,” said Andy Sheldon, Medicago’s
President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We will further investigate
the use of both formulated GLA and alum in our Phase II H5N1 trial
which was recently initiated with results expected during the summer of
2013.”

Medicago’s first vaccine candidate in the field, which targets the H5N1
influenza strain, completed a successful U.S. Phase I study which was
conducted with the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI),
earlier this year. In that study, all three configurations of adjuvant
and route of administration (I.D., Alum, and GLA-AF) for 20ug of the
H5N1 vaccine candidate induced a solid immune response against the H5N1
viral strain that exceeded the CHMP immunogenicity criteria for
licensure of influenza vaccines. Medicago recently initiated a Phase II
study of its H5N1 VLP in combination with both the GLA and alum
adjuvants with results expected in the summer of 2013.

Medicago also recently announced the production of a H7N9 VLP vaccine
candidate which includes formulated GLA or alum, making Medicago the
first company to successfully produce a VLP vaccine candidate against
the emerging strain. Medicago and Immune Design are collaborating to
conduct preclinical studies of the H7N9 VLP-GLA combination.

About Medicago

Medicago is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel
vaccines and therapeutic proteins to address a broad range of
infectious diseases worldwide. The Company is committed to providing
highly effective and competitive vaccines and therapeutic proteins
based on its proprietary VLP and manufacturing technologies. Medicago
is a worldwide leader in the development of VLP vaccines using a
transient expression system which produces recombinant vaccine antigens
in plants. This technology has potential to offer more potent vaccines
with speed and cost advantages over competitive technologies, enabling
the development of a vaccine for testing in approximately one month
after the identification and reception of genetic sequences from a
pandemic strain. This production time frame has the potential to allow
vaccination of the population before the first wave of a pandemic, and
supply large volumes of vaccine antigens to the world market. Medicago
also intends to expand development into other areas such as biosimilars
and biodefense products where the benefits of our technologies can make
a significant difference. Additional information about Medicago is
available at www.medicago.com.

About Immune Design:

Immune Design is a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company
based in Seattle, WA. Immune Design brings together some of the world’s
leaders in the field of molecular immunology to develop next
generation, therapeutic, and preventative vaccines for malignant,
infectious and allergic diseases. The company employs leading edge
technologies which target dendritic cells for more precise activation
of the immune response. These include a novel lentiviral vector
engineered to deliver antigen-encoding nucleic acids directly to
dendritic cells in vivo and a TLR-4 agonist that activates dendritic
cells by up-regulating key molecules for efficient antigen
presentation, and produces cytokines of the Th1 type to enhance the
immune response.  The TLR-4 agonist is licensed from the Infectious
Disease Research Institute, or IDRI, for worldwide exclusive rights in
a number of indications, including influenza.  For more information, go
to www.immunedesign.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release includes certain forward-looking statements or
forward-looking information for the purposes of applicable securities
laws and such statements and information are based upon current
expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with
Medicago’s business and the environment in which the business operates.
Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical
facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified
by the expressions “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”,
“expect”, “intend”, and similar expressions to the extent they relate
to Medicago or its management. The forward-looking statements are not
historical facts, but reflect Medicago’s current expectations regarding
future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject
to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results
or events to differ materially from current expectations, including the
matters discussed under “Risk Factors and Uncertainties” in Medicago’s
Annual Information Form filed on March 28, 2013, with the regulatory
authorities. Medicago assumes no obligation to update the
forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results
could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Medicago Inc.

Article source: http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/MDCGF/news?id=65168

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