CSIR gets free access to Icon Genetics manufacturing technology

Johan­nes­burg, 16 July 2012 — The Coun­cil for Sci­en­tif­ic and Indus­tri­al Research and ICON, Munich/Halle, Ger­many, have announced that they have entered into an agree­ment that will allow the CSIR to make use of its plant-based man­u­fac­tur­ing plat­form known as ‘mag­nI­CON®’ for research and devel­op­ment (R&D) and roy­al­ty-free man­u­fac­tur­ing of rabies vac­cines and post-expo­sure pro­phy­lax­is anti­bod­ies against rabies for the Sub-Saha­ran Africa region. There are 48 coun­tries in Sub-Saha­ran Africa, most of which are in dire need of effi­cient and afford­able med­i­cines to con­trol the scourge of rabies. Under the recent­ly signed agree­ment, ICON will pro­vide the mate­ri­als, know-how, train­ing, R&D licence, as well as roy­al­ty free com­mer­cial licence option to the CSIR.

mag­nI­CON® tech­nol­o­gy is a set of tran­sient gene expres­sion process­es that allow for a rapid and high-lev­el expres­sion of recom­bi­nant pro­teins, in par­tic­u­lar phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, in green plants. The speed, effi­cien­cy and yield of recom­bi­nant pro­tein from plants pro­vid­ed by mag­nI­CON® is the high­est in the indus­try based on Frost & Sullivan’s inde­pen­dent analy­sis of recom­bi­nant expres­sion sys­tems.

Dr Vic­tor Klimyuk, ICON’s Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer, said: ”We admire efforts at the CSIR to devel­op the new med­i­cines for under­priv­i­leged parts of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. The signed con­tract pro­vides our col­leagues at the CSIR with access to one of the most advanced expres­sion tech­nolo­gies in the Plant-made Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (PMP) field for the devel­op­ment of new bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals so much need­ed for the Sub-Saha­ran Africa region.”

Dr Rachel Chik­wam­ba, CSIR’s Group Exec­u­tive, Strate­gic Alliances and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, said: ”Bio­pharm­ing rep­re­sents a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for coun­tries like South Africa to par­tic­i­pate in the local pro­duc­tion of high val­ue biotech­nol­o­gy drugs and reagents for human and ani­mal health. We have part­nered over the years with ICON and oth­er organ­i­sa­tions in the devel­op­ment of some of our prod­ucts, and this alliance cre­ates a for­mi­da­ble part­ner­ship which brings togeth­er glob­al state-of-the-art tech­nolo­gies on the plant made phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals val­ue chain.”

Dr Chik­wam­ba added, ”The CSIR is indeed priv­i­leged to con­tin­u­ing work with this alliance to address some of the chal­lenges in the local avail­abil­i­ty of high val­ue phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, par­tic­u­lar­ly for infec­tious and emerg­ing chron­ic dis­eases.”

About the CSIR

The CSIR is one of the lead­ing research and devel­op­ment (R&D), tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion insti­tu­tions in Africa, with a track record span­ning more than 65 years. Struc­tured to man­age the entire research and inno­va­tion val­ue chain, the CSIR strives for excel­lence in all its endeav­ors in order to improve the qual­i­ty of life of South Africa’s peo­ple and to increase the glob­al com­pet­i­tive­ness of South African indus­try. Spe­cif­ic areas of focus are the built envi­ron­ment, health, ener­gy, the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment, defence and secu­ri­ty, as well as the needs of indus­try. These areas are under­pinned by key enabling tech­nolo­gies such as infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­o­gy, pho­ton­ics, robot­ics, mate­ri­als sci­ences, optron­ics and biotech­nol­o­gy, as well as lead­ing sci­en­tif­ic infra­struc­ture. The CSIR — Our future through sci­ence For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please vis­it www.csir.co.za.

Con­tact per­son:

Ten­dani Tse­du, CSIR Media Rela­tions Man­ag­er
Tel: +27 12 841 3417
Mobile: +27 82 945 1980
E-mail: mtsedu[at]csir.co.za

About ICON:

Icon Genet­ics, a plant biotech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny, is cur­rent­ly a whol­ly owned sub­sidiary of Nomad Bio­science GmbH, Munich, Ger­many. The com­pa­ny dis­cov­ers and devel­ops new bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and high-val­ue pro­tein prod­ucts using green plants as pro­duc­tion hosts. ICON offers new plant man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nolo­gies which address speed, yield, pre­ci­sion, expres­sion con­trol and safe­ty of prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ing in plants. ICON oper­ates its own cGMP-com­pli­ant man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty in Halle, Ger­many. ICON’s own pipeline includes sev­er­al ’bio­bet­ter’ anti-can­cer anti­bod­ies (pre-clin­i­cal stage).

Con­tact per­son:
Vic­tor Klimyuk, ICON Chief Oper­a­tions Offi­cer
Tel: +49 345 555 9885
E-mail: klimyuk[at]icongenetics.de