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BENEFITS OF BIOPHARMING

Produce new and better drugs.


Biopharming involves methods that enhance plants genetically so that they can produce
pharmaceutical proteins. Once these proteins are approved by FDA, they will be the building
blocks that scientists can use to produce drugs targeting cancer, HIV, Alzheimers and other
diseases. (Thomas) So through biopharming, scientists are likely to produce a greater range of
improved quality drugs than that produce by conventional method. (albehri)
Lower production costs.
Current production technologies involving pharmaceuticals products are using fermentation
process. These processes required large costs to set up the buildings and equipments. (Mison, D.,
and J. Curling. 2000. The industrial production costs of recombinant therapeutic proteins
expressed in transgenic corn. BioPharm 13:4854.) Elbehri stated that laboratory production of
pharmaceuticals product require a cost of $450 million while the same amount of production
would be possible on producing 500 acres of GM corns with an investment about $80 million.
As a result of this lower cost, GM crops productions are proven to be four to five times less
expensive than conventional system.
Overcome the shortfall in pharmaceuticals products production.
In the future the demand for pharmaceuticals products are increasing and the manufacturing
capacity of conventional method is lower compare to the demand of the products. The use of
transgenic animals to produce this pharmaceuticals products offer us a way to overcome the
shortfall in the manufacturing capacity. (dyck et al)
Transgenic animals can perform complex post-translational modifications.
In order to produce some biologically active proteins, scientists need something that can perform
all the post-translational modifications that occur in human body. Transgenic animals are similar
to human, so they can perform all the important post-translational modifications and can produce
more human proteins than that produce from microorganisms.
Reduce the risks of contaminations.
If we use human cell lines to produce certain proteins, there are risks of contamination and
transmissions of human pathogen such as HIV virus. But if we use transgenic animals which are
non-human, the risks of transmitting the human pathogen can be lowered.

Advantages of milk produce from transgenic animals.
Many recombinant proteins can be produced from transgenic animals such as cow. Other body
fluids also can be used to produce this recombinant protein, but milk is the only one that can
produce high concentration of recombinant proteins, can be produced in large volume and also
easy to collect. The production of expressed protein is less expensive and simpler in milk
compared to other body fluids like blood. Milk products also give less adverse effect so it is safer
for human. Goat is more suitable for the production recombinant proteins in milk because it has a
short breeding cycle compared to other animals such as cow and sheep.(goven dsp)
Faster and flexible manufacturing
Biopharming has the potential for the faster and flexible production of recombinant products
because farmers now can easily increase or decrease the crops according to market demand.
(seto)
Cheaper drug products.
Since the production cost of biopharming products are cheaper, they can provide cheaper drugs
and vaccines. So, more drugs are available for people in developing countries. (seto)
Increase the nutritional content of food
Biopharming provide a way for scientists to produce crops with increase nutritional value.
Example of crops that have been genetically modified to increase its nutritional value is golden
rice. Golden rice has been genetically modified to be rich in -carotene to serve as source of
Vitamin A. (tang) In this way, children in developing country who had always had a vitamin A
deficiency can obtain the vitamin from their diet.
Reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture
Pest resistance crops have been produced so that they can be resistance to pests such as insects.
These crops are called Bt crops because the gene that they introduce into the crops are taken
from Bacillus thuringiensis. This gene actually produce Cry toxin which is toxic to pests.
(tabashnik) So, for this GM crops we do not need to spray insecticides. In this case, the bad
effect of the insecticide on the soil can be reduced.