The Halle-based biotechnology company Icon Genetics specializes in the production of pharmaceutical agents made in plants. The company, which is part of Bayer Innovation GmbH since 2006, uses tobacco plants to produce high-quality proteins which could be used as anti-bodies in treating tumours. In this application, the plants are exposed to so-called vacuum infiltration, through which the modified tobacco mosaic viruses take the blueprint for the medication into the cells. The desired protein then forms in the plants. This innovative procedure makes it possible to produce proteins considerably more quickly, cheaply and in larger quantities than before. Over 50 therapeutically effective proteins have already been obtained at laboratory scale, including hormones, vaccines and enzymes for technical applications. With the help of this magnIcon® technology, the Halle biochemists, together with Bayer, are pioneers in a field of research which has a promising future and which will influence both pharmaceutical research and plant biotechnology in the long term.