Biotechnology / Health / Resources

Research group wants to test marijuana compounds for new vaccines

Fraunhofer USA's Newark location focuses on developing plant-based vaccines.

Some marijuana plants. (Photo by Flickr user Scott Beale, used under a Creative Commons license)

A nonprofit research institute called Fraunhofer USA, which has a big office in Newark, is hoping Delaware will allow vaccine research with marijuana.
According to a story from the Cape Gazette, a Fraunhofer rep said marijuana is made of several compounds that might be useful in medicine.
“While there is much anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of marijuana for certain indications, we do not know which of the compounds in the plant may actually be active ingredients,” Dale Ervin told the Cape Gazette. “Research also needs to be done to determine safety, efficacy dosage, formulation.”
The Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology has been in Delaware for more than a decade. The institute built a 56,000-square-foot facility in Newark in 2010. Scientists there focus on using plants in new vaccines, which is faster and cheaper than using eggs (as is traditionally the case).
The Newark location employs about 85 people, and since 2006, the institute has generated $113 million for research contracts in Delaware.
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