الثورة والثورة المضادة في الزراعة الصيدلانية البيولوجية

ستانفورد ــ إن استخراج الأدوية من النباتات ليس جديدا. فقد استخلص الباحثون الأسبرين لأول مرة من لحاء شجرة الصفصاف في القرن الثامن عشر. كما تستخلص وتنقى أدوية أخرى عديدة شائعة، بما في ذلك المورفين والكودايين ومكملات الألياف (ميتاميوسيل)، من نباتات العالم.

في وقت أقرب إلى الزمن الحاضر، نجح العلماء في تطوير تقنيات تحمل هذه العملية خطوة أخرى إلى الأمام، باستخدام الهندسة الوراثية لاستحثاث المحاصيل الزراعية لتخليق أدوية عالية القيمة. نشأ الوعد العظيم الذي قدمته هذه التكنولوجيا والمعروف باسم "الزراعة الصيدلانية البيولوجية" قبل نحو خمسة عشر عاما، مع إجراء التجارب السريرية على اللقاحات والأدوية المنتجة باستخدام الموز والطماطم والتبغ. ولكن من المؤسف أن التقدم توقف منذ ذلك الوقت بسبب نفور الهيئات التنظيمية الشديد من المخاطرة.

وكان إنتاج شركة التكنولوجيا الحيوية فينتريا للعلوم البيولوجية لصنف من الأرز يحتوي على اثنين من البروتينات البشرية، اللاكتوفيرين والليسوزيم، من الأمثلة المبكرة للزراعة الصيدلانية البيولوجية. كانت حبوب الأرز تخضع للمعالجة بمجرد حصادها لاستخراج وتنقية البروتينات لاستخدامها في محلول معالجة الجفاف عن طريق الفم لعلاج الإسهال، والذي تسبقه أمراض الجهاز التنفسي فقط بوصفها المرض المعدي القاتل للأطفال تحت سن الخامسة في البلدان النامية.

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