Rapid large-scale production of recombinant antibodies in agro-infiltrated leaves
Presentation held at the Bioforum Lüttich. 3 May 2002
Plant-based expression systems are becoming increasingly popular and have been proposed for economical production of a large variety of biopharmaceuticals. Detailed characterisation of the plant produced recombinant proteins is particularly important for clinically relevant candidates. Large amounts (several mg) of purified protein and even higher quantities (100 mg to 1 g) are required for pre-clinical and initial clinical trails. The large-scale agro-infiltration system has the capacity to meet these demands as presented here for the case of recombinant antibodies. The agro-infiltration system has been scaled up to produce large quantities of functional recombinant antibodies. The recombinant antibodies were successfully purified from agro-infiltrated leaves by protein-A or ion-metal affinity chromatography. High purity was achieved after the single purification step and yields of up to 40 mg/kg were obtained. Currently we are able to process several kilogramms of tobacco leaf material and production of gram quantities of recombinant protein is feasible. This demonstrates that the agro-infiltration system has the capacity to produce sufficient amounts for performing pre-clinical and probably even initial clinical trials.