ABSTRACT for Society of Economic Botany Conference, June 4-9, 2023:

Sustainable Production of Natural Substances by Plant Cell Cultivation

Gilbert Gorr, Phyton Biotech GmbH

For over thirty years Phyton Biotech has been developing sustainable plant cell fermentation processes and applying them to a vast number of commercial products. The products range from active pharmaceutical ingredients to adjuvants for vaccines, traditional herbal medicines, and ingredients for cosmetics and nutraceuticals.

In fact, for more than two decades Phyton has used plant cell cultures successfully for the commercial production of paclitaxel (brand name “Taxol”) – an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) broadly used in cancer therapies by pharmaceutical companies all over the world. Paclitaxel is derived from a class of Taxus species, specifically, the Yew tree.

The development of a commercial plant cell process consists of several critical steps including the selection of high-producing cell lines, optimization of growth and production conditions, and establishment of a robust and reliable production process at the appropriate commercial scale. A plant cell culture derived from a needle, leaf, or other tissue, with the addition of nutrients and water matching exactly the needs for cultivation in liquid medium, can result in a cell fermentation biomanufacturing process that is sustainable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective.

The cultivation and production processes are executed in a controlled technical environment, independent from nature, resulting in high-quality (GMP) commercial-grade active compounds. Here, we will share our success story for producing paclitaxel – the most prominent plant cell culture-based process applied at an impressive 75,000 L scale. We will also present other notable projects from Phyton’s commercial products’ portfolio.