Plant-produced biopharmaceuticals: A case of technical developments driving clinical deployment

The ability to express heterologous proteins in plants has led to the concept of using plants as “bioreactors” or “biofactories” for the production of pharmaceutical proteins. Although initial studies were promising, the pathway to commercialization and deployment in a clinical setting has proven to be a somewhat rocky road. This Review examines the technical developments that have led to the current increase in interest in the use of plants for the production of pharmaceutical proteins, particularly in the context of clinical trials.