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Plant-Based Vaccine Production

Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation

Fraunhofer CMI - Automated Vaccination Plant - Facility Overview
© Fraunhofer CMI.

Fully automated, high volume vaccine factory

Fraunhofer CMI - Automated Vaccination Plant - Robot holding tray with plants

Fraunhofer CMI, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology (CMB) and Boston University, has developed an automatic, scalable, natural plant "factory" that can efficiently produce large quantities of therapeutics to address potential biological threats. Located in Newark, Delaware, the facility officially became operational in April 2010.

Our custom-engineered equipment seeds plants, supervises their growth, injects viral vectors, and harvests the synthesized proteins once they accumulate sufficiently. Automated robots glide along a track to deliver multi-plant trays between processing stations under controlled lighting and temperature conditions. The seeding-to-harvesting cycle takes approximately six weeks.

This unique approach allows for thousands of plants to be grown in one batch and eliminates the complex culturing or fermentation currently used in vaccine production. The facility and its plant-based protein process are the first in the world to comply with federal Food and Drug Administration Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).

  • Constructed automated system to facilitate natural plant vaccine production
  • Opened April 2010 at Fraunhofer CMB in Newark, Delware
  • Deployed custom robotic equipment to automate entire cultivation process
  • Eliminated complexities associated with current plant-based vaccine production
  • Approved under federal FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines

Plant Based Vaccine Production
(Video by Fraunhofer Society, 3:57 minutes, German with English subtitles)

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Portrait of Bill Mosolgo

Bill Mosolgo

Business Development

Fraunhofer CMI - Center for Manufacturing Innovation


15 Saint Mary's Street
Brookline, MA 02446-8200

+1 617-353-1888
+1 617-353-1896