Key facts

Reference: FP7 KBBE-2008-3-1-05

Budget 4.4 million Euros (2.8 million euros EC contribution)

Participants: ten organisations, from five European countries

Duration: 1st June 2009 to 31st May 2012, extended to 31st December 2012 (no-cost extension)

Coordinator: Dr. Stefan Schillberg, Fraunhofer IME

Project overview

The CoMoFarm project aims to develop high-yielding production systems based on plants, plant tissues and plant cells for the large-scale production of pharmaceutical and industrial proteins. The concept behind the project is to develop ways to standardize the growth and behaviour of plants (and plant tissues and cells) so that the resulting proteins show a consistent yield and quality.

The project will involve the comparative analysis of four different plant-based systems: hydroponic plants, root cultures, cultivated moss and suspension cells. A number of different species will also be compared. The best performers will be used for strain and process optimization. In parallel we will develop automated systems for plant monitoring and maintenance, ultimately leading to a full production platform including downstream processing and all regulatory considerations.

The CoMoFarm project is the first to look at plant-based production systems holistically, with a view to optimizing the entire production train from cell to pure protein specifically focusing on pharmaceutical industry standards. The project will involve many innovative elements including in-process monitoring and the automation of environmental parameter control to optimize product yield, quality and homogeneity, noivel downstream processing techniologies and enhanced bioreactor and hydroponic designs to keep plants and plant cells in peak health.

Ultimately, the results from the CoMoFarm project will help to redce the costs involved in the produiction of pharmacetical andindustrial proteins and ensure that pharnaceuticals from plants are produced to the highest possible standards.


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