Target Molecules

The combination of low capital investment, low cost of goods, coupled with highly scalable manufacturing capability is particularly important for many products and will enable the development of new applications that are currently not achievable with conventional fermenter based production technologies.

Of course, not all pharmaceuticals will be appropriate, or will need to be made in plant systems. Application areas that are thought likely to benefit most are:

  1. Medicines that are required in very large quantities e.g. monoclonal antibodies, some sub-unit vaccines, HIV protein microbicides.

  2. Medicines that can only be made in plants e.g. secretory IgA antibodies - at present this major class of antibody that is important for mucosal prevention of disease cannot be made efficiently by any other means.

  3. Medicines that are specifically designed for production in plants e.g. recombinant immune complexes - with a growing understanding of the mechanisms of protein production in plants, has come the ability to engineer molecules with enhanced immunological properties.

The principal advantages which plants can offer  need to be evaluated case by case when choosing the best production system. Target molecules assessment of (clinical) need and production feasibility will be reviewed within the working group 3 (WG3). This WG3 is led by Dirk Bosch and Arjen Schots.


During the Action, a novel Molecular Farming database has been built up grouping published and unpublished data. This database is searchable using queries like plant platform, expression level etc. It can be reached through the following link: http://mped.ab.wur.nl and is accessible to everyone interested.