Molecular pharming’s foot in the FDA’s door: Protalix’s trailblazing story

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42 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2150
Number of pages4
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 29 2015


  • Ebola
  • FDA-approval
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Molecular pharming
  • Plant-derived biologics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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