The use of contained plant systems for the production of biopharmaceuticals represents a powerful alternative to current methods, combining the benefits of whole-plant systems and cell cultures. In vitro contained production systems include plant cell suspensions, hairy root cultures, novel plants grown in contained conditions and microalgae. These systems show intrinsic advantages, such as control over growth conditions, production in compliance with good manufacturing practice and avoidance of political resistance to the release of genetically modified field crops. At present, one of the two plant-produced vaccine-related products that have gone all the way through production and regulatory hurdles derives from tobacco cell suspensions, and the second is a human therapeutic enzyme, which is expected to reach commercial development soon and derives from carrot suspension cells. In the future, several other products from contained systems are expected to reach the clinical trial stage.