Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Farming Plants for Pharmaceuticals Still Promising

15.07.2004


Despite challenging obstacles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration views plant-made pharmaceuticals as a highly promising means of building and securing the world’s drug supply, said FDA Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo here this week.

Speaking at a special forum on the topic Tuesday, Crawford explained that the FDA is working closely with the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service to monitor and keep isolated plant-made pharmaceuticals crops from conventional food crops.

“We want to regulate [plant-made pharmaceuticals] in such a way that public health is not put in jeopardy, but we want to go about that in a way that won’t impede development because we think this is an industry that offers great promise,” said Crawford.



Plants have become a focus for production of pharmaceuticals because of their complex biology and similarity of their cellular structures to human cells.

The economics of producing such plants are also very attractive, costing potentially only 10 percent that of traditional biotech medicines, said Mike Phillips, vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Corporation.

Research on growing plants for pharmaceuticals has focused primarily on alfalfa, corn, duck weed, rice, safflower and tobacco, according to the panel, with the plants offering the potential for offering treatments for diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, to cystic fibrosis and spinal cord injuries, among many others. “The possibilities are endless,” said Phillips. “Of course, many will fail, but you keep looking for the one to take to market that makes all of the research and development worthwhile.”

Crawford added that the plant-made pharmaceuticals could offer needed relief as the FDA stretches itself to monitor manufacturing facilities around the world that provide food to this country. “As this industry develops, I think it will be a very useful adjunct to the security and integrity of the world drug supply,” said Crawford.

Concerns persist that pharmaceutical crops could be easily mistaken for conventional crops and mixed into the food supply, said Jeff Barach, vice president of special products for the National Food Processors Association. But limiting production to non-food crops would severely limit drug-making potential. “If companies were limited to tobacco or duck weed, the funding would evaporate and the promise for this would end overnight,” he said.

The Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo is the world’s largest annual food science and ingredient conference, delivering comprehensive, cutting-edge research and opinion from food science-, technology-, marketing- and business-leaders. Now in it’s 64th year, the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo attracts up to 20,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibiting companies. The convention runs through Friday.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.ift.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>