Revoluce a reakčnost v biopharmingu

STANFORD – Získávání léčiv z rostlin není ničím novým. Aspirin se poprvé podařilo izolovat v osmnáctém století z vrbové kůry. A mnoho dalších běžných farmaceutik včetně morfia, kodeinu a doplňku vlákniny s názvem metamucil se rafinuje ze světové flóry.

Vědci nedávno vyvinuli metody, jak tento proces posunout ještě o krok dál: pomocí genetického inženýrství syntetizují ze zemědělských plodin farmaceutika vysoké hodnoty. Obrovský příslib této technologie známé jako „biopharming“ („biotechnologická výroba léčiv“) vyšel najevo asi před 15 lety, kdy se uskutečnily klinické zkoušky vakcín a léků vyrobených v banánech, rajčatech a tabáku. Od té doby se pokrok bohužel zastavil kvůli úporné neochotě regulátorů podstupovat rizika.

Jedním z prvních příkladů biopharmingu byla výroba rýže obsahující dva lidské proteiny, laktoferin a lysozym, společností Ventria Bioscience. Jakmile se tato rýže vypěstuje a sklidí, oba proteiny se extrahují a rafinují a pak se používají v ústních rehydratačních roztocích určených k léčbě průjmových onemocnění, která jsou po respiračních chorobách druhou nejvýznamnější příčinou úmrtí dětí do pěti let na infekční onemocnění v rozvojových zemích.

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