Plant-based vaccines challenge big pharma
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Two tiny companies are preparing to challenge some of the world’s largest drug makers in the battle for dominance in the $3 billion global market for influenza vaccines, armed with little more than tiny tobacco plants.
The use of plants to produce life-saving pharmaceuticals captured global attention when it was revealed that the Ebola drug ZMapp is produced in the leaves of tobacco plants.
Even as Ebola cases multiply in West Africa, a far greater market for plant-based biopharmaceuticals will likely be influenza vaccines used to fight pandemics, industry experts said. Making vaccines from plants may turn out to be faster and cheaper than current methods which use chicken eggs to grow the virus needed to make the vaccines.
- Health Care