1st Edition

Biopharmaceuticals in Plants
Toward the Next Century of Medicine

ISBN 9781138114951
Published May 22, 2017 by CRC Press
224 Pages 4 Color & 22 B/W Illustrations

USD $89.95

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Book Description

Transgenic plants present enormous potential to become one of the most cost-effective and safe systems for large-scale production of proteins for industrial, pharmaceutical, veterinary, and agricultural uses. Over the past decade, much progress has been made with respect to the development of vaccines, antibodies, and other therapeutic proteins. Biopharmaceuticals in Plants: Toward the Next Century of Medicine provides a comprehensive survey of all major aspects of the development and production of plant-made biopharmaceuticals.

Accompanied by an exhaustive list of references to facilitate further study, this critical volume:

  • Describes the theory and practice of modern plant transformation techniques with respect to nuclear and plastic genomes
  • Outlines the steps involved in the generation of transgenic plants
  • Discusses the engineering of plant virus expression vectors for transient expression of vaccine proteins and other therapeutics in plant tissue
  • Addresses the significant role of glycosylation in the production of plant-made mammalian proteins
  • Investigates the basis of mucosal immunity using plant-based oral vaccines
  • Examines the scale-up of plant-derived vaccine and therapeutic proteins in entire crops or in large batch cell suspension cultures
  • Explores the development of clinical trials utilizing plant-derived biopharmaceutical proteins
  • Evaluates risks and biosafety concerns regarding plant-derived pharmaceuticals

The book concludes with a discussion of the future of plant-based vaccines and other therapeutic proteins with respect to commercial viability and as a tool to improve global public health. Far-reaching in its scope, this text is a baseline reference that students and researchers in a broad range of fields such as medicine, plant science, biotechnology, crop science, natural products chemistry, and engineering will consult regularly. It will also serve as a useful tool for individuals and companies seeking to invest in this dynamic area.

Table of Contents

History of Plants in Production of Biopharmaceuticals

History of Vaccine Development

History of Vaccine Proteins Produced in Plants

Transformation of Plant Tissue

Agrobacterium tumefaciens-Mediated Plant Transformation

Other Transformation Techniques

Problems Associated with Transformation Techniques

Transformation of Cereals

Hairy Root Transformation

Selectable Marker Genes

Regulation of Transgene Expression

Transgenic Plants Expressing Vaccine and Therapeutic Proteins

Transgenic Plants Expressing Vaccines against Diarrheal Diseases

Animal Vaccines Produced in Plants

The Use of Antibodies in Plants as Immunotherapeutic Agents

Other Biopharmaceuticals and Therapeutic Agents Produced in Plants

Enhancement of Plants for Nutritional or Medicinal Purposes (Nutriceuticals)

Chloroplast Engineering and Production of Biopharmaceuticals

Differences between Nuclear and Plastid Transformations

Plastid Transformation

History of Plastid Transformation and Biotechnological Applications

Vaccines and Therapeutic Proteins Produced in Chloroplasts

Plant Viral Expression Vectors and Production of Biopharmaceuticals in Plants

Plant RNA and DNA Virus Expression Systems

Glycosylation of Therapeutic Proteins in Plants


Differences in N-Glycosylation Patterns between Plants and Mammals

Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals and Plant Allergens

Strategies to Humanize Recombinant Proteins in Plants


Sialic Acid in Plants

Glycosylation of Immunoglobulins Produced in Plants

Other Therapeutic Proteins

Scale-Up of Plant-Derived Biopharmaceuticals: Prospects for Commercial Production and for Global Health

Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals on the Market

Scale-Up and Production of Biopharmaceuticals in Plants

Application of Virus Expression Vectors for Large-Scale Field Trials

Production of Biopharmaceuticals in Plant Suspension Cells

Comparison of Cell Culture over Whole Plants for Biopharmaceutical Production

Other Expression Systems for Large-Scale Production of Biopharmaceuticals

Downstream Processing of Plant-Derived Biopharmaceuticals

Driving Forces behind Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals: The General Market Environment

The Immune Response to Plant-Derived Pharmaceuticals

The Immune System in General

T Cells

B Cells

Antibodies and the Immune Response

The Concept of Vaccination and Immune Imprinting

Organization of the Mucosal Immune System

Secretory IgA and the Mucosal Epithelium

Mucosal Immune Response of the Respiratory Tract

Oral Tolerance

Preclinical and Clinical Trials Involving Plant-Derived Vaccines

Diarrheal Diseases

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

Rabies Virus

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Measles Virus

Influenza Virus

Swine-Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus

Canine Parvovirus

Oral Tolerance to Antigens

Risk Analysis and Safety of Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals

Risk Analysis and Plant-Based Biopharmaceuticals

Regulation of Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals

Quality Control and the Manufacturing of the Product

Impact of Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals on Human Health

Impact of Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals on the Environment

Avoiding Transgene Silencing

Epilogue: The Future

The Current State of Plant-Made Biopharmaceuticals


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Kathleen Laura Hefferon achieved her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. She most recently held the title of Director of Operations of the Human Metabolic Research Unit in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She also acts as a science writer for the Center for Hepatitis C Research at Rockefeller University in New York City and as an expert selector for the Infection and Immunity Division of the Medical Research Council, in London.


"This book serves as an excellent introduction to biopharmaceuticals and as a source of references for those wanting more details."
—Monique S.]. Simmonds, in The Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 2011, volume 47 (I)

"Today, molecular farming represents an extremely heterogeneous field, due to the large variety of different production hosts examined and further complications derived from the different cultivation systems employed. ...the book provides a comprehensive overview of the different approaches taken over the last 20 years since the first heterologous expression of a monoclonal antibody in tobacco."
—Dr. Stefan Jennewein, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, in ChemMedChem, 2010.