Will plant-made biopharmaceuticals play a role in the fight against COVID-19? Editorial Article uri icon


  • Given the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to divulge all the available technologies with the potential to fight against this virus. Plant biotechnology offers potential solutions to this pandemic through the development of low-cost vaccines and antibodies useful for therapy, prophylaxis, and diagnosis. The technology to produce plant-made biopharmaceuticals is already established; two examples of these are: a therapeutic enzyme that has entered the market and the influenza vaccines that are currently under clinical trials with encouraging results. Thus far, some companies have started developing anti-COVID-19 antibodies and vaccines. In particular, plant-made antibodies might be timely produced and approved for human use in the short term, while the development of vaccines will take longer time (clinical evaluations could be concluded by the end of 2021); nonetheless, the candidates obtained will be valuable tools for future outbreaks. The key aspects that will define the exploitation of this technology in the fight against COVID-19 are discussed. © 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor %26 Francis Group.

publication date

  • 2020-01-01