Plant expressed vaccine

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Plant expressed vaccine or project GreenVax[1] In 2000, a patented entitled Vaccines expressed in plants U.S. Patent 6,034,298 was issued. In 2005 DARPA’s Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program was created In response to emerging and novel biologic threats.[2] In 2009 DARPA offered a government contract for a Non-GMO plant-based systems expressing recombinant proteins, due to The 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic that highlighted the national need for rapid and agile vaccine manufacturing capabilities.[3] The Texas A&M University and a Texas company have been awarded a $40 million U.S. Department of Defense grant to develop a plant expressed vaccine made from tobacco, egg-based vaccines typically take at least six months to develop once a virus is isolated, the new process will take four to six weeks.,[4] "If this works, we'll have a billion-dose-per-month vaccine facility in Texas, which would be by far the largest and most capable center in the world."[4]

The plant-based vaccine production method works by isolating a specific antigen protein, one that triggers a human immune response from the targeted virus. A gene from the protein is transferred to bacteria, which are then used to “infect” plant cells. The plants then start producing the exact protein that will be used for vaccinations.[5] The flexibility of the plant expressed vaccine system, combined with its low cost and ability to massively scale, may provide vaccine protection not only to citizens of the United States, but to many parts of the world that cannot currently afford vaccines.[6] Other uses of plant expressed vaccines including the successful creation of edible bananas that protect against the Norwalk virus.[7]

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