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Very-large-scale production of antibodies in plants: The biologization of manufacturing

: Buyel, J.F.; Twyman, R.M.; Fischer, R.

Fulltext (PDF; )

Biotechnology Advances 35 (2017), No.4, pp.458-465
ISSN: 0734-9750
ISSN: 1873-1899
European Commission EC
Exploiting plants for the production of future generation recombinant pharmaceuticals
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()

Gene technology has facilitated the biologization of manufacturing, i.e. the use and production of complex biological molecules and systems at an industrial scale. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are currently the major class of biopharmaceutical products, but they are typically used to treat specific diseases which individually have comparably low incidences. The therapeutic potential of mAbs could also be used for more prevalent diseases, but this would require a massive increase in production capacity that could not be met by traditional fermenter systems. Here we outline the potential of plants to be used for the very-large-scale (VLS) production of biopharmaceutical proteins such as mAbs. We discuss the potential market sizes and their corresponding production capacities. We then consider available process technologies and scale-down models and how these can be used to develop VLS processes. Finally, we discuss which adaptations will likely be required for VLS production, lessons learned from existing cell culture-based processes and the food industry, and practical requirements for the implementation of a VLS process.