Realising the value of plant molecular pharming to benefit the poor in developing countries and emerging economies
Ma, Julian K-C.
Paul, Mathew J.
Pujol Ferrer, Merardo
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Molecular Pharming, the production of recombinant pharmaceuticals through plant biotechnology, has the potential to transform the biologics sector of the pharmaceutical industry. More fascinating however, is how it might be used to improve access to modern medicines, and improve health of the poor in developing countries and emerging economies. Although improving global health through molecular pharming has been discussed for at least two decades, little progress has actually been made. In this manuscript, a four point plan is described to maximise the opportunity for molecular pharming to provide solutions. These are (i) to identify and prioritise important drug targets that are relevant to the poor; (ii) to support research and development partners in low to middle income countries to develop local expertise, transfer technology and build capacity; (iii) to increase collaboration between regulatory bodies to enable national regulatory frameworks to be developed in low to middle income countries; and (iv) to promote intellectual property management approaches that include socially responsible licensing. An existing case study is described to illustrate how this might be achieved.