Pharmaceutical firms are looking at ways to essentially grow antibodies and vaccines in plants such as genetically modified corn. The first of these drugs could reach the market next year, and has the potential of becoming a $2 billion-plus market by 2011. Both startup firms and established pharmaceutical firms are investing in this technology.
The catalyst for this technology growth is a shortage of biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. However, public concerns about such genetically modified plants affecting the food supply could hold back its development.