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Plants can be engineered to become factories for oral vaccine production

Paper Title:

Plant-made vaccines and therapeutics



Therapeutic proteins such as vaccines, antibodies, hormones, and cytokines are generally produced in bacteria or eukaryotic systems, including chicken eggs and mammalian or insect cell cultures, with high production yield according to well-defined regulatory guidelines ([ 1 ][1]). The use of plants for the production of therapeutic proteins, called molecular farming, was proposed as an alternative biomanufacturing method in 1986. The first and only plant-derived therapeutic protein for human use was approved in 2012 for the treatment of Gaucher disease. In 2019, a plant-produced influenza virus vaccine completed phase 3 clinical trials, with encouraging results ([ 2 ][2]). More recently, phase 3 trials for an adjuvanted plant-made vaccine (CoVLP) against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (NCT04636697) began in March 2021. These successes have revived interest in plant-produced pharmaceuticals for human use, which could include edible drugs.

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