Medicago and Mitsubishi to develop next generation technology for plant production

Published: 29-Jan-2013

Companies to evaluate closed hydroponic Plant Factory System

Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago is to collaborate with Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation of Japan to develop a next-generation technology for plant production, with the aim of reducing operating costs and enhancing capacity.

Medicago, which is focused on developing vaccines based on proprietary manufacturing technologies and Virus-Like Particles (VLPs), says the collaboration will evaluate MCHC‘s Plant Factory System, a closed cultivation system, to produce Nicotiana Benthamiana plants for protein production using Medicago‘s technologies.

Andy Sheldon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Medicago, said: ‘This system would be designed to enhance our capacity and further decrease operating costs, whilst facilitating new applications of Medicago‘s technology.’

Seiichi Kiso, Executive Officer, Head of Healthcare Solutions Office of MCHC, added: ‘Medicago and Mitsubishi have both developed very promising technologies and we see a significant opportunity from joining the two technologies into a next generation plant protein production platform.’

MCHC’s has developed a closed hydroponic Plant Factory System to grow plants, using solar panels and LED lighting. It is currently used for industrial-scale vegetable production in Japan and other countries and is said to achieve efficient, clean, safe and environmentally friendly plant production. These features can provide tightly controlled conditions and reproducibility, which are a key to ensuring reliable biopharmaceutical production in different geographies and climates.

Medicago and MCHC will work together exclusively for 12 months to evaluate the potential of combining MCHC’s system with Medicago’s plant protein production technologies.

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