Six Units in Ongoing Use for Foreseeable Future, Seventh Ordered
MISSISSAUGA, CANADA, May 19, 2020 – Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX: MBX, Microbix®), an award-winning life sciences innovator and exporter, announces that it has achieved full utilization of the six bioreactor units it installed for manufacturing the “antigens” which are at the core of immunoassays that establish exposure or immunity to the Rubella virus, the cause of German Measles.
This marks a milestone for Microbix shareholders, as product from subsequent bioreactor batches will more fully realize the gross margin benefits of multiple units being run in parallel by the same personnel. Product deliveries from this level of operations will start to be made as of October, 2020 – realizing the originally intended gross margin benefits in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 and beyond.
Cameron Groome, President and CEO, stated, “I invite all Microbix stakeholders to join me in thanking our talented professionals for enabling us to achieve this strategically important goal. This project involved every department of our company, including R&D, Manufacturing, QC, QA, Sales & Marketing, Finance, and HR. As a result of bioreactor production attaining this level of activity, Microbix should start realizing better and more consistent gross margins from this best-selling and critical antigen product.”
Microbix’s intense program has led to it becoming expert in the usage of bioreactors for mammalian cell culture and for production of native-organism viral antigens. It can now reliably produce enough Rubella antigen to supply all demand from its international customer-base of immunoassay test makers. Microbix’s dedicated bioreactor suite has been designed to accommodate up to eight bioreactors. The Company has recently ordered a seventh unit to conduct further process optimization studies. In future, these more efficient methods may be applied to the production of other viral antigens, and the conversion of Rubella to bioreactors has freed space for more production of other antigens by conventional methods.
Microbix began the program to convert its production of this critical “TORCH Panel” test ingredient from traditional “roller bottle” culturing methods to leading-edge bioreactor technology in 2015. Validation of Microbix’s processes and its first commercial sale were achieved in September, 2017. Microbix completed renovations to its facility to accommodate up to eight bioreactors in May, 2018 and it purchased six. After multiple customer-driven timeline extensions, Microbix announced full acceptance of antigen produced via its bioreactor process in August, 2019. Since that time, Microbix has been consuming built-up product inventory and, one-by-one, has been increasing the number of its bioreactors being regularly operated.
Financial support for the bioreactor program was provided by Microbix’s many shareholders, with further assistance from the Industrial Research Assistance Program and the FedDev Ontario program of the Government of Canada. Microbix gratefully acknowledges this assistance, as well as the cooperation of its customers in reconfirming the acceptability of bioreactor-produced antigen for their tests.
About Microbix Biosystems
Microbix develops proprietary biological and technology solutions for human health and well-being, with approximately 80 skilled employees and sales now usually exceeding $1 million per month on average. It makes a wide range of critical biological materials for the global diagnostics industry, notably antigens for immunoassays and its laboratory quality assessment products (QAPs™) that support clinical lab proficiency testing, enable assay development and validation, or help ensure quality control of clinical diagnostic tests. Microbix antigens and QAPs are sold to many customers worldwide, at present primarily to multinational diagnostics companies and laboratory accreditation organizations. Microbix is ISO 9001 and 13485 accredited, FDA and Health Canada establishment licensed, and provides CE marked products.
Microbix also applies its biological expertise and infrastructure to develop other proprietary products and technologies, most notably Kinlytic® urokinase, a biologic thrombolytic drug used to treat blood clots.
Microbix is a publicly-traded company, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
This news release includes “forward-looking information,” as such term is defined in applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, discussion of the bioreactors and the product made in them, the utility or consequences of use of the bioreactors, references to external collaborators and regulatory processes, Microbix’s business and business results, goals or outlook, risks associated with financial results and stability, development projects such as those referenced in its corporate presentation, regulatory compliance and approvals, sales to foreign jurisdictions, engineering and construction, production (including control over costs, quality, quantity and timeliness of delivery), foreign currency and exchange rates, maintaining adequate working capital and raising further capital on acceptable terms or at all, and other similar statements concerning anticipated future events, conditions or results that are not historical facts. These statements reflect management’s current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations; they are not guarantees of future performance. The Company cautions that all forward looking information is inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Accordingly, actual future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. All statements are made as of the date of this news release and represent the Company’s judgement as of the date of this new release, and the Company is under no obligation to update or alter any forward-looking information.
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For further information, please contact Microbix at:
|Cameron Groome, CEO
|Jim Currie, CFO
|Deborah Honig, Investor Relations
Adelaide Capital Markets
(647) 203-8793 email@example.com