iBio, Inc., a plant-based biotechnology company focused on developing biological therapies for several fibrotic diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and systemic sclerosis, recently announced it has received a notification from the European Patent Office stating that the opposition period for the iBio patent 2192172, entitled “System for Expression of Genes in Plants,” has expired and no opposition has been filed.
The patent is part of the iBioLaunch™ technology platform the company uses for the development of its therapeutic products. The platform is a gene expression technology based on non-transgenic plants that can rapidly produce high levels of target proteins in controlled growth facilities, fulfilling all safety requirements, and at a lower cost when compared to protein production using engineered microbial or animal cells in bioreactors. This technology has been employed in the development of both biotherapeutics and vaccines.
iBio’s fibrosis drug candidate, called IBIO-CFB03, is currently being evaluated in pre-clinical trials and was developed based on the iBioLaunch™ technology platform, which allowed the production of a compound with superior formulation properties and at a lower cost when compared to the original candidate drug if developed through conventional pharmaceutical peptide synthesis.
“This patent enlarges market protection of our innovative plant-made protein production technology,” said iBio’s President Robert Erwin in a press release. “By using the advantages of our iBioLaunch technology together with our exclusive license of Novici Biotech’s patented GRAMMR® gene and protein enhancement technology, we have been able to increase the expression yield of therapeutic proteins such as antibodies, improve their functional properties, and reduce production costs versus conventional approaches. Some of our product applications are targeted for commercialization via iBio’s subsidiary company, iBio do Brasil Biofarmaceutical Ltda. iBio expects others to be of interest to commercial partners in the U.S., Europe, and/or Japan.”
Erwin also emphasizes the importance of this European patent, saying, “Additionally, this European patent will add another layer of protection to commercialization of our fibrosis program in the important European market. Prevalence of fibrotic disease in Europe comprises approximately 80,000 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and approximately 100,000 with systemic sclerosis.”
The iBioLaunch™ technology platform is also available to third parties under license and commercial collaboration agreements with iBio.