plant-molecular pharming

Our core business is plant-molecular pharming of recombinant proteins.


Our Technology

Our core business is plant-molecular pharming of recombinant proteins. Cape Biologix Technologies’ PtXPro™ technology converts thousands of Nicotiana Benthamiana plants into mini single-use, biodegradable bioreactors.

The plants, a distant cousin of tobacco, are infiltrated with Agrobacteria containing a gene of interest cloned into our plant expression vector that results in high yields of recombinant proteins within the leaves. These proteins can be used as research or diagnostic reagents and, under GMP compliance regulations, as therapeutic or vaccine candidates.

Transient plant-based expression platforms provide unique benefits compared to traditional expression systems such as mammalian cell culture systems.  


The PtXPro™ Technology

Gene Sourcing And Editing

We acquire gene sequences for each specific protein of interest, these are digital sequences of DNA, much like computer code. These gene sequences are then modified in-silico for different applications.


Digital DNA is synthesized into physical DNA and cloned into our high-expressing pCBP plant expression vectors.

Bacterial Transformation

Expression vectors containing the gene of interest are inserted into Agrobacterium bacterium


Plants are infiltrated with a solution of transformed bacteria, which have the natural ability to deliver the expression vectors into the cells of plants.


As soon as the vector has gained entry into the cells, it hijacks the plant’s natural protein-making machinery to produce large amounts of the protein of interest. Each plant can be seen as a ‘mini-bioreactor’. A week after infiltration (times vary with each protein), we harvest the leaves of infected plants.


We then separate our protein of interest from contaminating native plant proteins using rounds of filtration and chromatography to achieve the highest levels of purity.


Each batch is subject to stringent quality controls to ensure reproducibility in purity, functionality, and performance.


The PtX™ Advantage

The increasing emergence and global spread of infectious diseases brought about by globalisation and climate change have made health management around the world more challenging than ever. These challenges will further exacerbate the already complex fight against zoonotic diseases, disease bearing vectors, and the spread of circulating pathogens. 

While traditional expression platforms such as mammalian cell culture have brought the life sciences industry to where it is today, alternative systems are required to take it forward into the future. It’s time for the quality, speed, flexibility, scalability, and sustainability of the PtXPro technology to contribute its unique benefits to the health and wellbeing of people and plants.

SPEED  |  Upon sequence selection target genes can be rapidly inserted in plant expression vectors and proteins will be expressed within days of transfection, allowing for rapid response to customer needs.

FLEXIBILITY  Our system is a flexible platform capable of producing complex monoclonal antibodies, antigens, growth factors & cytokines, virus like particles (VLPS), and enzymes.

SUSTAINABILITY  Compared to traditional cell culture production, where large amounts of complex sterile media is needed, our plants only require light, water and nutrients to grow, making them comparatively more sustainable.

QUALITY  Because our proteins are engineered at the genetic level, we can ensure batch-to-batch consistency, allowing for increased reproducibility of results.

SCALABILITY  To scale-up production all we need to do is add more plants, avoiding the step-change issues inherent in inherent in bioreactor-based cell culture. This allows us to scale from proof-of-concept quantity to bulk quantity quickly and easily, ensuring long term security of supply. 

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