Taking Australia from the farm to the pharm (2015–2020)
Plants produce unique cyclic peptides (mini-proteins) to protect themselves from pests and pathogens. This
project aims to chemically redesign them to produce stable protein-based drugs. This is significant because the
exceptional stability of cyclic peptides overcomes what until now has been a major limitation on protein drugs. But
the project will do more than just borrow knowledge of cyclic peptides from plants; it will place re-engineered
genes into pharmed plants to produce novel stable pharmaceuticals that can be eaten. Expected major outcomes
will be new knowledge underpinning an innovative approach to protein production and a new pharming industry
for Australia to produce high-value drugs and agri-chemicals in plants.