Production of recombinant antigens and antibodies in Nicotiana benthamiana using 'magnifection' technology: GMP-compliant facilities for small- and large-scale manufacturing

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;375:127-54. doi: 10.1007/82_2012_212.


This review describes the adaptation of the plant virus-based transient expression system, magnICON(®) for the at-scale manufacturing of pharmaceutical proteins. The system utilizes so-called "deconstructed" viral vectors that rely on Agrobacterium-mediated systemic delivery into the plant cells for recombinant protein production. The system is also suitable for production of hetero-oligomeric proteins like immunoglobulins. By taking advantage of well established R&D tools for optimizing the expression of protein of interest using this system, product concepts can reach the manufacturing stage in highly competitive time periods. At the manufacturing stage, the system offers many remarkable features including rapid production cycles, high product yield, virtually unlimited scale-up potential, and flexibility for different manufacturing schemes. The magnICON system has been successfully adaptated to very different logistical manufacturing formats: (1) speedy production of multiple small batches of individualized pharmaceuticals proteins (e.g. antigens comprising individualized vaccines to treat NonHodgkin's Lymphoma patients) and (2) large-scale production of other pharmaceutical proteins such as therapeutic antibodies. General descriptions of the prototype GMP-compliant manufacturing processes and facilities for the product formats that are in preclinical and clinical testing are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Receptors, CCR5 / immunology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Tobacco / genetics*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Recombinant Proteins