The pharma revolution: Growing medicines in plants

A new facility at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience funded by a generous donation from the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundation is helping researchers transform sunflower seeds, tea leaves and even potato chips into the drug delivery packages of the future.

Head of the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Facility for Producing Pharmaceuticals in Plants, Professor David Craik, said his team would use the state-of-the-art facility to transform plants into ‘biofactories’ that produced potent next-generation medicines.

“Tablets or injections are common ways of dispensing pharmaceutical treatments, but we want to create drugs that can be grown in fields rather than factories,” Professor Craik said.

“This breakthrough research has the potential to be a game-changer for patients diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis or chronic pain.

“The potential benefits are huge. It could mean more accessible and more affordable healthcare on a worldwide scale.”

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