- iBio NEVER confirmed in a straight-forward fashion that it's involved in the Ebola drug production.
- The license agreement with Caliber is for an "oncology indication".
- iBio plays no role in Ebola drug ZMAPP's production.
iBIO (NYSE:IBIO) spiked nearly 70% after the "U.S. requests production plans for Ebola drug ZMapp" news broke in the early afternoon on Friday. The news reported that government officials have asked "three advanced biology laboratories to submit plans for producing the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp." These three labs are: Texas A&M Health Science Center, Emergent Biosolutions in Baltimore, and another center in Holly Springs, North Carolina, led by Swiss drug company Novartis AG. iBio was never mentioned as one of the production centers, or a partner of the centers. You may wonder why iBIO shares are up so much. It turns out that iBio is only remotely related to a subcontractor of one of the three centers, the Texas center. If Texas center wins the government contract, said Dr. Brett Giroir, chief executive officer of Texas A&M Health Science Center, it would likely tap Caliber Biotherapeutics as a subcontractor. iBio entered into a license agreement with Caliber in Feb 2013. So the question is, is iBio directly involved in the Ebola drug production? On last Thursday, iBio issued an ambiguous press release responding to inquiries about its role in emergency response to Ebola virus. All iBio said in the press release can be summarized into below three points:
1). iBio has an on-going relationship with Caliber;
2). iBio reiterated its self-claim that plant-based production may be superior to animal-based antibody production;
3). iBio "offered" to help US government.
iBio NEVER confirmed in a straightforward fashion that it's involved in the Ebola drug production. Why? It's because iBIO has never been involved. Based on the company's 10-K, the license to Caliber is for use of the iBioLaunch in connection with the development of an antibbody-based protein for an "oncology indication":
If the story gets convoluted for the readers, the below diagram should help sort out all the relationship.
If iBio management has any dignity, it should just tell investors what Protalix (another plant-based therapeutic proteins producer) CEO Dr. David Aviezer said, "We have no information about the drug, no connection with the manufacturers. We also have no genetic information about the drug or the rights to use it."
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