Agricultural Applications

The use of pesticides in agriculture has long been controversial, as they are both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they protect crops from pests and diseases, but on the other, they have been shown to harm the environment, poisoning soils and decimating biodiversity. The fact is: Climate change is making plants more susceptible to pests, which is increasing the use of pesticides. But it is also a fact that in some cases pesticides are essential to feed the world’s population in the future. Sustainable solutions for crop protection are therefore urgently needed. BionFarming supports the development of sustainable solutions based on renewable biotechnology. 

There are numerous applications of recombinant technology in agriculture, none of which have been commercialised yet. We believe that the main reason for this is that recombinant proteins are primarily being investigated as solutions in the area of pesticide use, with studies being carried out primarily to investigate recombinant toxins. BionFarming has a different approach and is primarily investigating targeted anchor proteins. 

More crop protection with fewer pesticides

Recombinant anchor peptides are of great interest for the development of new crop protection and plant enhancement products for resource-efficient and sustainable agriculture, as they are more durable and bind exclusively to the crop to be protected. The increase in efficiency made possible by this enormous level of precision can only be estimated, but it is ten times greater than the methods commonly used today. 

The rational design of customised peptide anchors and meeting application requirements requires a detailed definition of the application requirements from the user’s perspective, an understanding of the structure of the surface-bound anchor peptide, its binding mechanism and its effect on the plant. The BionFarming development team identifies user needs and requirements at an early stage of research and development in order to illuminate and shape the various aspects of biotechnological development. An agro-ecological perspective is ensured through collaboration with the Humboldt University of Berlin. 

Molecular dynamics simulation, protein and feature engineering are important services of BionFarming to achieve an optimised structural characterisation of the peptide and its likely binding mechanisms and to reduce the development risk. Thanks to the plant-based expression system, the appropriate test beds for further development and optimisation can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively, so that there are no long waiting times between tests and first applications in the research greenhouse. Based on the identified areas of application and the knowledge gained on anchor peptide formation, the data could be gathered to enable a project to be initiated on behalf of a customer. 

Hit the pathogen directly, only the pathogen

The high binding specificity that can be achieved with recombinant proteins is such that it is possible to tag only one specific pathogen. As a result, it is possible to target only those fungi and insects that threaten the crop. Beneficial organisms, other insects or even beneficial fungi remain unaffected by the application. 

The application does not necessarily require a toxin, but other defence mechanisms can be coupled with the recombinant tag to provide safe crop protection without causing extensive or lethal disruption to the ecosystem of the cultivated landscape. 

Product Pipeline


Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is a congenital genetic defect for which there is currently no cure. BionFarming is in the process of developing plant-derived AAT, which is not only a direct substitute, but also replaces a very cost-intensive production with a more cost-effective plant product. Based on the plant-made AAT, BionFarming has started the development of a COVID therapeutic. 

Vegan Trastuzumab

Trastuzumab is one of the best-tested and most proven anti-body therapies for breast cancer and other cancers. With the first plant-based biosimilar, BionFarming will create an alternative for all patients who want an animal-free therapy. 


Enable recycling as in nature

  • Closed water-, fertiliser- and energy-cycles
  • 100% use of the cultivars, even the roots become usableProductivity increase of over 50% by utilising the roots
  • Naturally degradable residues which act as permanent carbon sink