Phytome, Inventronics (formerly OSRAM Digital Systems), and the University of Plymouth Unveil Breakthrough in Pharmaceutical Agriculture

  • Phytome has partnered with Inventronics and the University of Plymouth to develop a series of data-driven “smart” controlled environment solutions tailored for the biopharmaceutical industry.
  • In November 2022, they initiated an AI-driven research project to investigate the epigenetic influence of light and other environmental factors, with the aim of revolutionizing plant-based production of high-value biotherapeutics within controlled-environment systems.
  • Proof-of-concept studies have shown that specific wavelengths of light can enhance plant biomass yield, increase production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, and promote plant longevity.
  • The research has uncovered the potential to modify plant morphology for vertical cultivation techniques, resulting in a significant reduction in cultivation footprint and the ability to implement strategies for substantial energy consumption reduction in controlled-environment agriculture systems.

LONDON, ENGLAND / ACCESSWIRE / September 19, 2023 / Phytome Life Sciences, a leading UK Government-licensed life sciences company focused on the development of FDA-approved botanical therapeutics, announces exciting preliminary results from its research collaboration with Inventronics and the University of Plymouth to develop commercial applications for AI-driven technologies in pharmaceutical agriculture. The collaboration, initiated in November 2022, aims to revolutionize the production of high-value biotherapeutics in controlled-environment systems by leveraging the epigenetic impact of light and other environmental factors.

These results represent a significant breakthrough in the field of pharmaceutical agriculture. The research has shown that targeted wavelengths of light can selectively increase the productive biomass and yield of active pharmaceutical ingredients, paving the way for highly efficient cultivation strategies, real-time plant monitoring, and high-precision molecular outcomes, while minimizing energy waste. Additionally, the study explores the potential of morphological control to enable scalable and repeatable precision cultivation technologies.

“Our pharmaceutical agriculture program focuses on scalable, uniform, and reproducible production of high-value therapeutic molecules in a plant-based system. This is a critical requirement for the development of a standardised licenced botanical drug that can be prescribed and reimbursed at scale,” said Dr. Sebastian Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer of Phytome Life Sciences. “We have demonstrated outstanding levels of batch conformity while showing we can use particular environmental interventions to increase plant biomass production by up to 500%, while independently increasing the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients by approximately 20%. Building upon these preliminary findings, our research will continue to develop data-driven tools to optimize plant-environment interactions for optimized yield and reduced energy consumption. The ultimate goal of this research is to achieve scalable and reproducible production of specific plant-derived therapeutics, with implications for advanced medical drug research and development and the wider controlled-environment agriculture industry.”

Phytome’s research emphasizes the significance of epigenetic plant traits, offering promising strategies to exploit plant adaptation to changing environmental cues and ensure crop conformity, yield and quality. By delivering precise environmental cues and monitoring plant requirements, environmental technologies will reduce energy consumption and eliminate excess inputs, maximizing productivity and consistency of the cultivation system. Combined with optimized plant cultivars, these technologies offer strategic differentiation and commercial opportunities in controlled-environment agriculture systems.

“The preliminary data from these trials at Phytome Life Sciences advanced cultivation R&D facilities suggests a significant unaddressed opportunity to develop scalable new luminaire technologies and lighting strategies” said Dino Jakobi, Global Sales Manager, Horticulture at Inventronics. “This will enable pharmaceutical and food cultivators to both enhance the quality and conformity of crops as well as reduce the high operating costs associated with controlled-environment agriculture.”

The collaboration between Phytome and the University of Plymouth is led by Head of Plant Research, Dr Hail Rihan. A globally recognised expert in the rapidly growing field of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and plant tissue culture. Hail’s research focuses on the commercial application of next generation LED technologies for intensive hydroponic culture of high value crops.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Archie Clements said: “These exciting results show the benefits of combining the University of Plymouth’s world class research expertise with two leaders in the field of lighting and biopharmaceutical research. This collaboration is delivering excellent results revealing plant and environment interactions to optimise energy consumption and manage other critical elements for plant propagation to enhance yields for medical science research and other applications.”

“These results are exciting and informative, they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of these technologies to revolutionise our understanding of plant-environment interactions,” said Professor Richard Preziosi, Head of the School for Biological & Marine Sciences at the University of Plymouth. “Harnessing predictive models and the use of sensor technology to develop real-time data feedback loops, is a significant step forward to unlock the complexity of plants and their fullest potential for human impact as sustainable sources of medicines, industrial chemicals and high-quality food.”

Phytome Life Sciences is committed to pioneering innovative technological solutions that unlock the licenced botanical pharmaceutical drug opportunity, and its research collaboration with Inventronics and the University of Plymouth marks a significant milestone in revolutionizing the industry.

About Phytome Life Sciences

Phytome Life Sciences is a leading UK Government-licensed life sciences company focused on the development of prescription FDA-approved botanical therapeutics. The Company is developing a proprietary platform that integrates the latest pharmaceutical agriculture, biomanufacturing and pre-clinical screening technologies to accelerate a disease-targeted drug discovery pipeline. For more information, visit:


Dr. Sebastian Vaughan
Chief Executive Officer

Alyssa Barry
Investor Relations

Forward Looking Statement and Information

This press release contains forward-looking information that involves various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements and are not guarantees of future performance of Phytome Life Sciences PLC. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if they do occur, what benefits Phytome Life Sciences PLC will obtain from them. These forward-looking statements reflect management’s current views and are based on certain expectations, estimates and assumptions which may prove to be incorrect. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including: (1) a downturn in general economic conditions in the United Kingdom and internationally, (2) the inherent uncertainties and speculative nature associated with commercialization of the Company’s products and research, (3) a change in health, controlled drugs or related regulations, (4) any number of events or causes which may delay or cease commercialization and development for plant-based medicinal products and the pharmaceutical development of novel phytochemicals, (5) the risk that Phytome Life Sciences PLC does not execute its business plan, (6) inability to retain key employees, (7) inability to finance operations and growth, and (8) other factors beyond Phytome Life Sciences PLC’s control. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by law, Phytome Life Sciences PLC assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results differed from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Phytome Life Sciences Limited

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