Originally created 01/15/04

Dow Chemical to develop plant-based vaccines

MIDLAND, Mich. -- Dow Chemical Co. announced a four-year, $5.7 million research agreement with the National Institutes of Health to develop plant-based vaccines that it says will be cheaper and easier to produce than existing vaccines.

The agreement, announced Wednesday, came after the institutes requested new vaccine technologies against infectious diseases, including biological weapons. The technology that Dow intends to develop involves producing vaccine protein on the leaves of greenhouse-grown plants, the Midland-based company said.

Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology in Newark, Del., will help develop the technology, and the University of Maryland will screen it for effectiveness, Dow said.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Dow shares were up 54 cents at $12.68.

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