Industrial biotechnology for improved manufacture of medicinal alkaloids

Grant number: LP160100182 | Funding period: 2016 - 2019



This project aims to develop a new semi-synthetic route for the manufacture of Codeine from Thebaine. Codeine is manufactured by the chemical conversion of poppy-derived Morphine, which is low yielding and environmentally unfriendly. This project will investigate and optimise two key enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway to Codeine and develop an innovative bioreactor to achieve high yield. It will research industrial biotransformations, providing a greener and cheaper process for increased global access to Codeine. Australian opiate manufacturing is expected to benefit from value adding and increased flexibility introduced by a biotechnology approach.