Medicago - Vaccines & Protein-based Therapeutics

Medicago is a leading clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using novel plant-based and virus-like particle (VLP) technologies to rapidly develop innovative vaccines and protein-based therapeutics for infectious diseases and emerging public health challenges.

Medicago recognizes that plants are highly efficient at producing proteins of varying complexity, serving as bioreactors - or mini factories - for vaccines and protein-based therapeutics. Medicago's unique plant-based production platform demonstrates agility, accuracy, and speed by eliminating the risk of mutation and contamination during production and significantly shortening production timelines.

Not long after Medicago’s founding in 1999 as a disruptor in the field of plant-derived pharmaceuticals - in 2004 Argus Controls and then later Conviron began providing solutions in support of Medicago’s demanding requirements for controlled environments.

Our journey supporting Medicago first began at its facility in Quebec City and then continued as Medicago expanded to Raleigh-Durham in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina in 2011. In both cases, given Medicago’s advanced technology platform, it was not surprising that their controlled environment equipment requirements were amongst the most unique, specific and rigorous that our team has encountered.

As a global leader in controlled environment technology, both Conviron and Argus were ideally suited for the challenge. Our solutions over the years for Medicago have included a vast array of controlled environment equipment for germination, incubation and R&D processes - much of which did not fit into our standard product designs and needed to be custom engineered and manufactured to meet Medicago’s unique requirements. As a result of this collaboration our team has delivered some of our most advanced equipment to date, all of which integrates seamlessly into Medicago’s existing facilities in both Quebec and Raleigh-Durham. The equipment includes:

  • Chambers and rooms that meet tight temperature control setpoints within demanding volumetric uniformity tolerances
  • Control of humidity and CO2 concentration setpoints, light intensity, and photoperiod
  • Precision air exchange rates, required airflow direction and speed at plant level within stipulated tolerances
  • Alarm and event logging with multiple security levels depending on the user
  • Rooms that facilitate and withstand repeated cleaning
  • Instrumentation capable of being calibrated
  • Integration with the existing facility’s chilled glycol system
  • Safe-state shutdown capability in the event of a power failure as well as emergency shutdown mechanisms
  • Alarms to signal events such as communications malfunctions or out of setpoint conditions

Why Conviron?

At Conviron, we understand that your plant-derived pharmaceutical R&D or production processes may require specific controlled environment requirements relating to control parameters, growth area, external dimensions, shelving, reporting and facility integration that standard product designs do not always address. Leave it to our internal team of designers, engineers and controls specialists that have the expertise to assess project parameters and customize equipment solutions to meet your most demanding requirements.

About Medicago:

Since 1999, Medicago has been a pioneer of plant-based transient expression and manufacturing and sought a more effective way to improve human health. Headquartered in Quebec City, Medicago’s Canadian facilities include research, product development, process development, and management functions – including a 2,300 m2 cGMP pilot production facility used to prepare material for clinical studies and a 1,300 m2 greenhouse that meets strict confinement standards. In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Medicago’s complex includes a 10,000 m2 cGMP facility with a fully automated greenhouse and a state-of-the-art extraction and purification unit.

About Conviron & Argus:

Founded in 1964, CEL Group of Companies (CEL) comprises Conviron Canada, Conviron USA, Conviron Europe and Conviron Australia together forming the world’s leading designer and supplier of controlled environments for plant growth. CEL Group also includes Argus Controls, one of the leading suppliers of plant-centric environmental controls and automation systems used in greenhouse and indoor growing facilities. Together, Conviron and Argus provide technologies to our clients in the plant research, commercial horticulture, and plant-derived pharmaceutical industries in over 90 countries around the world.