developing planet friendly solutions



A unique and sustainable platform

Expanding plant biomass
under controlled laboratory conditions

With its unique technology platform, AmerStem answers the demand for large-scale plant biomass growth with minimum resource depletion and creates novel eco-sustainable plant sources to address unmet needs in vaccine development, pharmaceuticals, surface disinfectants, and crop protection. This is a green technology platform that allows continuous harvesting of biomass and optimizes production of high-value phytochemicals taking advantage of physiological responses to inducing or elicitor agents. In so doing, this technology saves energy, water and land resources, while preserving valuable flora with minimal waste production. Thus, the eco-sustainability of AmerStem’s technology allows significant expansion of high-value plant biomass while preserving plant species in their natural ecological niches.

One of Amerstem’s pursuits is aimed at utilizing plants to obtain natural compounds (secondary metabolites) that normally function as defense molecules. Many of these turn out to be valuable compounds for the vaccine industry (i.e., immunoadjuvants) and agriculture (i.e., crop protectants). However, our technology also offers the flexibility of a versatile platform for expressing recombinant proteins, either as antigens for vaccine manufacturing or as pharmaceuticals, including monoclonal antibodies.

Our cell culture technology platform represents a unique array of technical and biological innovations. These innovations are designed to enhance production of recombinant proteins or key secondary metabolites –such as saponins– and to facilitate their extraction in a manner that minimizes or avoids the use of organic solvents altogether.


Addressing currently unmet needs – QS-21

  • A major focus is mass production of the immunoadjuvant QS-21 and related saponins, which are normally found in the Quillaja saponaria tree that grows in South America (Chile)

  • Quillaja trees have been until now the only natural source of QS-21 and other saponin immunoadjuvants

  • Despite the existence of forestry regulatory limits by the Chilean government, over-harvesting of these trees continues to grow unabated

  • Estimates before the current COVID-19 pandemic indicated a total harvesting of at least 48,000 tons of tree biomass, which far exceeds the annual sustainable maximum of 27,000 tons

  • Such harvesting volumes translate to 120,000 felled Quillaja trees to yield approximately 5 kg of purified QS-21, sufficient for just one major vaccine rollout (100 million vaccine doses, each containing 50 μg of adjuvant)

  • Any additional production demand above these limits would impose a devastating threat to a precious resource considered a national treasure in Chile

  • The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed an additional burden to the already unstainable exploitation of the Quillaja trees

With our technology, we are providing a sustainable solution to this continuing ecological injury

Focus on eco-sustainability

Our efforts translate into scalable biomass growth and extraction of plant bioactives with green methodologies that minimize the use of harsh chemicals

  • We focus on the enormous growth and differentiation potential of plant stem cells derived from small samples of plant tissue or seeds
  • Our technology is designed to preserve the ecological balance between plants of commercial interest and their natural habitat

Maximizing plant potential

We are continuously expanding the enormous potential that plants offer by developing state-of-the-art technology tools needed for next-generation products for vaccine adjuvants, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals.


Protecting our planet

Our technologies are designed with a view to dramatically reduce the requirements for land and water compared to traditional agriculture. Our solutions are not only more energy-efficient but also more economic.

Preserving high-value flora

Our approach focuses on green technologies that minimize use of organic solvents and waste disposal costs. We develop alternative sources of biomass from high-value plant species, which are currently undergoing overexploitation and facing significant depletion.