Biopharming Research Unit
Positions available in the BRU for 2020
Junior Research Fellowship | Begins March 2020. Applications close 17 January 2020.
BRU eNCA news clip
This is a short clip from eNCA news in February 2016, describing the making of human papillomavirus pseudovirions in plants by the University of Cape Town's Biopharming Research Unit. This follows a press release on the publication of a paper describing the achievement in the journal, Nature Scientific Reports. See more at
BRU: The Movie!
A clip from the University of Cape Town's Research Contracts and IP Services office, commemorating a patent certificate award to the Biopharming Research Unit for an invention involving the production of human papillomavirus pseudovirions in plants.
The BRU recently featured on the 50/50 program on South African national TV
UCT biopharming group cements new international collaboration
The Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) at UCT has announced that it is joining forces with Canada-based biopharmaceutical company Medicago Inc. to develop a vaccine against Human papillomaviruses (HPV).
What makes this particular collaboration remarkable is that the vaccine in question will be produced in plants.
"We are excited and honoured to work with one of the world's most advanced companies in the field of plant-made vaccines," said Prof. Ed Rybicki, Director of the BRU, in reference to Medicago's earlier success in producing candidate vaccines against influenza viruses.
The BRU has itself been at the forefront of HPV vaccine and plant-produced therapeutic research for the last 10 years.
Dr Inga Hitzeroth, Deputy Director of the BRU, echoed Rybicki's sentiment, adding that she looks forward to a profitable collaboration with Medicago. The Canadian organisation is providing the funding and some materials for the research, while the BRU provides the expertise to develop and produce the virus-like particles (VLPs) that will be used as vaccines against HPV.
Prof Ed Rybicki of the BRU gave a talk on "Biofarming the Future" at the TEDx Cape Town event in the Cape Town City Hall on Saturday August 16th, where he described how plants can be used to make the therapeutic anti-Ebola ZMapp antibody cocktail, as well as anti-HIV antibodies, and influenza and other vaccines. Watch the talk here