Native tobacco plants reborn as ‘biofactories’ to grow medicines

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Researchers at IMB have shown Australian tobacco plants could be used as ‘biofactories’ to manufacture medicines on a large scale.
Professor David Craik and Dr Mark Jackson have demonstrated native wild tobacco, Nicotiana benthamiana, can potentially produce large quantities of drugs, cheaper and more sustainably than industrial manufacturing methods.
It is the latest study in a 10-year IMB endeavour to make growing medicines in plants a reality.
Instructing plants to grow medicines“We are using the natural ability of plants to produce cyclotides – strings of amino acids in a circular shape – which makes them very stable and suitable as oral drugs,” Professor Craik said.
The drug T20K is being developed by biotech company Cyxone.

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