Plant-based production of biopharmaceuticals

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Apr;7(2):152-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2004.01.007.


Plants are now gaining widespread acceptance as a general platform for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins. The first plant-derived recombinant pharmaceutical proteins are reaching the final stages of clinical evaluation, and many more are in the development pipeline. Over the past two years, there have been some notable technological advances in this flourishing area of applied biotechnology, as shown by the continuing commercial development of novel plant-based expression platforms. There has also been significant success in tackling some of the limitations of plant bioreactors, such as low yields and inconsistent product quality, that have limited the approval of plant-derived pharmaceuticals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Biopharmaceutics / methods*
  • Bioreactors
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis


  • Biological Factors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins