HotHouse Therapeutics uses a plant factory to mass produce rare medicinal drugs
Some of the most potent drugs known to mankind are produced by plants, but issues such as accessing source material from rare plants and modifying the complex chemicals have meant they have been largely abandoned by the drug discovery industry. This challenge has been overcome by technology from HotHouse Therapeutics (a spin-out from the laboratory of Professor Anne Osbourn OBE FRS at the John Innes Centre) which enables any naturally occurring medicinal compound to be reproduced by a host plant, creating a high value crop for Controlled Environment Agriculture.
Martin Stocks, co-founder of HotHouse Therapeutics, says: “We imminently expect to close our seed funding round of more than £2.5m from a consortium of UK venture capital investors.
“The endgame for HotHouse Therapeutics will be the generation of novel plant-produced drugs, probably made in specifically engineered plant lines. Such lines will require secure, contained facilities to grow the biomass needed for drug production.
“We are considering the potential of hydroponics and vertical farming in the manufacture of our products. We are interested in engaging potential partners in this space and accessing development funding to explore routes to viable and sustainable production systems.”
Read more about Professor Anne Osbourn’s research at jic.ac.uk/people/anne-osbourn/.
Wednesday 8th November, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Rowley Mile Conference Centre, Newmarket
Surviving and thriving under increasingly extreme and unpredictable challenges is the theme of the 2023 REAP conference. To build a productive, profitable and sustainable agri-food industry, we must move away from the comfort zone and become open to the new opportunities that exist when we ‘stretch’. Be a part of that future – bring yourself and your ideas to REAP.