What We Do

How We Started

The scientists, engineers and others who work at Kentucky BioProcessing maintain an equally intense focus on both our processes and our products — constantly working to refine our methods to maximize the quality and quantity of the plant-made compounds we produce.

Our work was initially done in a series of five traditional greenhouses, where we began to systematically explore the factors that affect the growth of the tobacco plants we use. Over the course of several years, we refined our method of achieving rapid growth of those plants and transforming them into “biomanufacturing plants” that have the ideal proportion of leaves and stems for the process-development and protein-production work we do.

With that knowledge, in 2010, we engineered the multilevel automated, climate-controlled, indoor growing facility we now operate. We continue to use our original greenhouses for smaller-scale research and development products, and to grow plants specifically to produce the seeds we use for our larger-scale production.

Why Tobacco?

Nicotiana benthamiana is a variety that is not used in production of more traditional tobacco products, but has a number of characteristics that make it ideal for biomanufacturing recombinant compounds.

Native to Australia, N. benthamiana had no need to develop resistance to many plant pathogens. It germinates and grows quickly, and the majority of the plant is leaves, which is where proteins are produced.

In addition, tobacco plants have been heavily researched, and there is a large base of scientific knowledge upon which to draw.