The plant virus, Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), is developed as a carrier of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin (DOX). CPMV-DOX conjugate, in which eighty DOX molecules are covalently bound to external surface carboxylates of the viral nanoparticle (VNP), shows greater cytotoxicity than free DOX toward HeLa cells when administered at low dosage. At higher concentrations, CPMV-DOX cytotoxicity is time-delayed. The CPMV conjugate is targeted to the endolysosomal compartment of the cells, in which the proteinaceous drug carrier is degraded and the drug released. This study is the first demonstrating the utility of CPMV as a drug delivery vehicle.