Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

GM Plants To Grow Vaccines Against Killer Diseases

18.03.2005


Genetically modified (GM) plants are to be used to grow vaccines for use in the worldwide fight against HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes and rabies thanks to a grant of 12 million euros from the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).



‘Pharma-Planta’ draws on the expertise and experience of 39 scientists from 11 European countries and South Africa to address significant health problems affecting Europe and the developing world - although the primary aim is to provide medicines for poorer countries.

In the first international project of its kind, ‘Pharma-Planta’ will develop the concept from plant modification through to clinical trials and they expect to begin human trials of the drugs within four years.


“We are addressing the serious issue of global inequality of health”, says scientific coordinator, Professor Julian Ma from St George’s Hospital Medical School in London. “Although the major burden of 21st century disease is in the developing world we have to accept it as a global problem as these are the countries that do not have access to vaccines.

“We know we can use GM technology to force a plant’s molecular apparatus to produce a range of medically useful compounds. Already genetic modification of other organisms is being used to produce human insulin and a hepatitis B vaccine. However, plant derived materials used in humans have never been formally addressed within the EU. So, this is a ground-breaking project that aims to provide help for the millions of people that die each year throughout the world from vaccine preventable diseases.”

Because plants are inexpensive to grow they could be used to produce large quantities of drugs or vaccines at low cost - anywhere between 10 and 100 times lower than conventional production, which is often labour intensive, expensive and often produces relatively small amounts of pharmaceuticals.

If the project is successful, the techniques would be licensed to developing countries. They would then be able to start up their own production to generate whatever amount they require at a cost that would not impact greatly on the countries economy.

Although the project has not finally decided which plants will be used, the likely candidates are tobacco or maize.

“The ‘Pharma-Planta’ project is an excellent example of how EU Framework Funding is being used to help research and development projects that will have a major impact on the everyday lives of people both in Europe and around the world”, says Claire Horton FP6UK’s National Contact Point for ’Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health. “This funding helps bring together experts from different countries to work together in the fight against diseases that can affect us all.

“The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free information on how to access some of the 19 billion euros available should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.”

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:
http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht New rice fights off drought
04.04.2017 | RIKEN

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>