Plant-Based Biologics Industry to Gain Impetus in the Coming Years
Nowadays, the pharmaceutical sector is extensively under the dominance of protein-based medicines. These medicines are derived by applyingbiotechnological methodson plants,which is scientifically termed as plant-based biologics. The arena of biological manufacturing is currently expanding beyond the boundaries of structurally-complex drugs and is foreseen to embrace spheres. At present, protein-based biologics is seen as the largest and fastest growing areas of pharmaceutical sector.
What is plant-based biologics?
Plant-based biologics are Schedule D (biologic) drugs that are produced using plant molecular farming.In the past, the use of plant-based cell membranesas an alternativeto mammal cell membranesfor producing biologic medicineshad come to the pole position when a number ofpharmaceutical manufacturers were putting effortsfor inventingan alternative treatmentfor treating Ebola. In 2012, the first plant-bade biologic was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for treating Gaucher’s disease. This medicine was named as ‘taliglucerase alfa’. This approval marked the beginning of a new epoch for plant-based biologics and gave a boost to noveldevelopments in the area of biopharmaceuticals.
Growing demand for plant-based biologics therapies
Today, even though man is climbing the stepstoward modernization, he has failed to upkeep his health and well-being which is giving rise to several life-threating diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others. Plant-based biologic drugs are extensively used for treating such diseases, and hence the demand for plant-based biologic is currently on rise all over the world. The use of plants for the manufacture of biologic productseliminatespossible contamination from adventitious agents.Furthermore, plant-based biologic drugsare widely preferred over other traditional drugs as they offer several advantages such as low cost, high scalability, and efficiency.All these factors are leading to the increased demand of these drugs from markets all over the world. Additionally, many established companies are now focused onmanufacturing plant-based biologics by using moss, tobacco, duckweed, alfalfa, and other plants. Some of the recent studieson plant-based biologics such as downstream processing, plant expression vector development,and glycol-engineering are seen to fuel the growth of plant-based biologics sector in the upcoming years.
Growing developments in the plant-based biologics sector
As per the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) 2015, nearly 250 biologic medicines and vaccinations have rehabilitated the lives of millions of patients all across the world. At present, numerous biopharmaceutical manufacturers are focusing onthe developmentof plant-made medicines using different plants. For example, in 2015, LeafBio, Inc., a company focused on pharmaceutical research & development of monoclonal antibody products for the treatment and prevention of viral and infectious diseases was given fast track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their plant-based medicinenamed ZMapp. This drug was used for the treating Ebola virus disease. At present several other companies are in the plant-based biologics market are undertaking activities such as merges &collaborations, acquisitions, partnerships, and new product launches forobtaining aleading position in the global market. In 2017, Denka, a Japanese company acquired German plant biotech Icon Genetics Inc. for around US$ 85.0 million. This acquisition was done with an intention tosupport Denka forconcentrating on research & development to endure development of innovative biopharmaceuticals.
Future scope of the plant-based biologics industry
A report by Research Dive says that the plant-based biologics industry is expected to gain heights by registering a CAGR of 6.1% in the near future.Growing occurrences of chronic diseases all across the globe is foreseen as a major contributor to the growth of global plant-based biologics market. Whereas, the growing developments and increasing investments in the plant-based products is expanding the applications of plant-based biologics in the healthcare industry. Considering all these factors, it is clear that the plant-based market is paving its way toward development and is sure to gain heights in the upcoming future.
Mr. Abhishek Paliwal
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