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 Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection
13.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>