Plant Protein Potential
Can lettuce really help biopharmaceuticals turn over a new leaf? Researchers who have bioencapsulated blood-clotting factors inside salad leaves as a means to create affordable biologics certainly think so
Stephanie Sutton |
Many biopharmaceuticals are far too expensive to be used by the majority of the world’s population. To that end, the search is on for cheaper and better ways of making drugs. And the answer could lie in plants. Henry Daniell, along with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in the US, have demonstrated that it is possible to produce a protein drug bioencapsulated in lettuce leaves that can be taken orally by patients (1).
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