Objectives: This short commentary examines the factors that led to Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the first plant-derived biologic. Results: In 2012, the first plant-derived protein pharmaceutical (biologic) was approved for commercial use in humans. The product, a recombinant form of human β-glucocerebrosidase marketed as ELELYSO, was developed by Protalix Biotherapeutics (Carmiel, Israel). The foresight to select this particular therapeutic product for development, flawless production pipeline, and serendipity seem to provide the key in explaining how ELELYSO became the first plant-derived biologic to achieve approval by Food and Drug Administration. Conclusions: While the circumstances that enabled Protalix and its scientists to become the first to arrive at this historic milestone are perhaps unique, it is anticipated that more biologics will follow suit in winning regulatory endorsement.
- Gaucher’s disease
- Molecular pharming
- Plant-derived biologics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology