science, technology


Plants as miniature protein factories

Our vision is to turn plants into useful production facilities for essential medicine, enabling global access to life-saving therapeutics.


Bringing medicine where it is needed

Our world needs more options for the production of biologics. Helico has taken on this challenge, developing BioVerge, a plant-based therapeutics production platform. BioVerge offers an alternative method of biologics manufacturing with the potential for faster delivery of proof-of-concept. Using BioVerge Helico is developing an internal pipeline including long-acting insulin, high-value oncology antibodies and vaccines for pandemic prevention.


Accessibility | Innovation | Environmental impact

At Helico, our processes and decisions are guided by three main principles. Our work is driven by the goal of accessibility where everything we do is ultimately to make life-saving therapeutics more accessible globally. Innovation is a key - by building upon current techniques we developed an alternative way to manufacture biologics quicker to deliver proof-of-concept. We consider the environmental impact of our operations, pursuing a carbon neutral manufacturing process to reduce total pollutant emissions of the pharmaceutical industry.

"The highest form of wisdom is kindness"

Our proof-of-concept

Why insulin?

Our proof-of-concept project Insulin is one of the oldest manufactured biologic compounds. It was first patented by Banting, Best and Collipin 1923. The three inventors famously sold the patent to the University of Toronto for one dollar. ‘Insulin does not belong to me,’ as Banting pointed out, ‘it belongs to the world’. Nevertheless, almost a century later, insulin is still not accessible to every person in need. Insulin ‘deserts’ exist, for example, in certain regions of Africa, where caritative associations battle to bring insulin to the population. (see article)

Other countries like USA recently had to regulate the pricing of insulin, as lower income household are struggling to pay for the treatment. (see article)

Even more recently, the travel disruptions brought by the COVID pandemic highlighted the fragility of global supply chains. (see article) In 2021, insulin access is still a priority for the WHO. (see article)

At Helico, we chose to develop our proof-of-concept to tackle the ‘insulin problem’. We address accessibility by using plant models and focusing on local production. The way we see it, insulin can be produced where and when it’s needed most.

Bottomline: we can make this life saving medicine available for all.

Design of a Portable Insulin Facility in a Refugee Camp

Working with us

Our Commercial capabilities

Helico provides the tools necessary to manufacture plant-made biologics. Using our proprietary platform BioVerge, we can take therapeutic targets from genes to product in less than three months. We can further aid in commercialisation through industry licensing and production contracts.


Machine learning algorithms for gene design to maximise protein yield in plants

in silico screening

Molecular tools development for optimisation of the target expression


Customised manufacturing of targets using our proprietary plant model


Downstream processes development and optimisation

Have a specific project in mind?
Exploring new ways to produce your compound?

Get in touch.

Our commercial science team looks forward to hearing from you.

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