Leading UK vertical growing technology business, Vertical Future, has announced their partnership with phytopharmaceutical development company, DePlantis Ltd. to grow a crop used for the production of a licenced medicine using a herbal extract, which will target the common cold and other respiratory conditions. The treatment, if developed on plan, could be available within 12-18 months.
Vertical Future will develop the first soil-free, hydroponic production of this extract, which is proven to have an anti-viral effect on coughs and colds and is a key active ingredient in over-the-counter drugs, allowing a year-round, reliable source in line with other medicines. Through hyper-controlled agriculture DePlantis Ltd and Vertical Future will be able to improve yield and potency.
This secure and dependable production chain will also benefit from Vertical Future’s state-of-the-art automated hardware and software technologies, allowing for minimal human interaction, sustainable production and medicine-grade hygiene levels.
Jen Bromley, Head of Plant R&D at Vertical Future said: “Vertical Farming offers a new and exciting way to cultivate medicinal herbs that are compliant with an ever more demanding regulatory landscape and overcome the challenges and limitations of traditional agriculture to achieve this. Our growing method also reduces the likelihood of contamination by other plants, which, in the field, can prove problematic in this sector. We’re all very excited to take on the challenge, utilise the technology and produce an amazing product.”
Jamie Burrows, CEO said: “This Pharmaceutical application is allowing us to demonstrate the use of Vertical Future’s technology beyond our traditional market of plants for food. Our goal has always been to improve the health of our world and population which stretches beyond providing sustainable produce. This partnership will open up a new market for our technology and we will develop a stand-alone pilot R&D facility for non-food crops that is GACP/GMP  compliant which we aim to expand into producing other phytopharmaceuticals.”
Dr Tom Jenkins from DePlantis said: “DePlantis is very excited to be working with Vertical Future on developing a novel approach to the UK’s most common symptoms. The combined expertise of both teams will allow us to develop a fantastic product in the face of significant technical and regulatory challenges. We intend for the solution that emerges to be a truly innovative approach to this market.”
Vertical Future’s production system is one of the most advanced in the world – and with over 35 pipeline projects across four continents currently under discussion, the announcement of this partnership is another step in Vertical Future’s journey to create a healthier future for all.