2.4 Million DKK Novo Grant for Green Production of Heart Failure Drug – University of Copenhagen

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01 October 2013

2.4 Million DKK Novo Grant for Green Production of Heart Failure Drug

The tropical plant Indian Coleus have been used to cure heart failure for centuries. Its medicinal effects are caused by the compound forskolin, which the is the focus of the new project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The commercial potential is big, since the compound has been approved for drug use.

The goal is to transfer the forskolin biosynthetic pathway from the coleus by to chloroplasts of tobacco plants. Here the solar energy harvesting photosystem I protein complex will deliver its energy directly to the production of forskolin.

The aim therefore is to make solar light-driven production of forskolin in contained systems possible. Apart from therapeutic effects on heart failure, forskolin can also treat glaucoma and inhibit colon cancer cell growth.
Within Center for Synthetic Biology the project leaders are Poul Erik Jensen, Agnieszka Zygadlo and Björn Hamberger from the light-driven synthesis group.
Read more about Poul Erik Jensen's research here: https://synbio.ku.dk/research/researcher_profiles/poul_erik_jensen/
Read more about Agnieszka Zygadlo's research here: https://synbio.ku.dk/research/researcher_profiles/agnieszka_zygaldo_nielsen/
Read more about Björn Hamberger's research here: https://synbio.ku.dk/research/researcher_profiles/bjorn_hamberger/