Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-3-1-05 | Award Amount: 4.40M | Year: 2009
The CoMoFarm project will establish high-yielding production systems for pharmaceutical and industrial proteins based on plants, plant tissue and plant cells. The aim is to develop systems in which both the production host and the product itself show consistent yield and quality. The project will include a comparison of four alternative systems hydroponic plants, root cultures, moss and suspension cells, and will involve the evaluation of different species, strain and process optimization, scale-up, downstream processing, protein characterization and process evaluation in terms of regulatory compliance. As well as furthering the development of an emerging production technology, the project will incorporate numerous innovative elements such as in-process monitoring and automation of environmental parameters to maintain a consistent environment and optimize protein yield and homogeneity, novel downstream processing technologies and innovative bioreactor and hydroponic designs to maintain plant health and ensure production according to good manufacturing practice. This project will have an immense impact on the biopharmaceuticals industry, by allowing SMEs interested in molecular farming to develop plant-made pharmaceuticals without worrying about regulatory constraints or poor investment prospects. This will go a long way to establishing molecular farming as a feasible industry within Europe, and will open new revenue streams for companies currently not interested in (or aware of) molecular farming, e.g. horticulture companies and nurseries. The cost of drugs will also begin to fall, which will positively re-enforce the benefits of plants and lead to greater growth in the market.