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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 May;6(5):219-26.

Medical molecular farming: production of antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines in plants.

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Dept Molecular Biology and Microbiology and Center for Discovery of Drugs and Diagnostics, University of Central Florida, 12 722 Research Parkway, Orlando, FL 32826, USA.


The use of plants for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years but genetic engineering of plants to produce desired biopharmaceuticals is much more recent. As the demand for biopharmaceuticals is expected to increase, it would be wise to ensure that they will be available in significantly larger amounts, on a cost-effective basis. Currently, the cost of biopharmaceuticals limits their availability. Plant-derived biopharmaceuticals are cheap to produce and store, easy to scale up for mass production, and safer than those derived from animals. Here, we discuss recent developments in this field and possible environmental concerns.

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