PharmaVOICE Blog Post

Pharming: Fighting Ebola – is this the Future of Drug Discovery?

Posted By: Dan Limbach
October 14, 2015

Fast Company is one of my favorite media enterprises. They specialize in innovation and design excellence in business. Much like PharmaVOICE, they focus on the people behind the work as much as the work itself.

Every year, Fast Company publishes its list of “Most Creative People.” It’s one of my favorite issues of the year. For 2015, the #1 spot is occupied by Charles Arntzen, Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University’s Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology.

One of the most intriguing fields in medical research is called “Pharming.” Pharming involves engineering plants to develop new vaccines and drugs. We’re just beginning to see the possibilities of this new field.

Professor Arntzen created a serum with antibodies grown in tobacco plants. The serum is being developed for people infected with Ebola. An initial study has shown promising results, and the program subsequently has receive a large influx of funding to continue its work.

Pharming could lead to better therapies that are developed quickly and at less cost than other methods used in drug discovery and development.

If the tobacco plant can become a force for good in medicine and health care, it would certainly be a measure of redemption for the oft-maligned plant. What other plants could enable us to combat serious diseases? The future looks bright for pharming.

Read the full article at


About the Blog Poster: Dan Limbach

3 Comments on "Pharming: Fighting Ebola – is this the Future of Drug Discovery?"

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  1. Creative says:

    Maybe it’s worthy of a try. Mass trails could prove its efficiency finally.

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks for you ideas in your article first!. Yes, I agree with your opinions that a good company is focusing on the people behind the work as much as the work itself. I have read your article about the innovate and it shows the clear trend of the future drug development!
    Another innovation: CRISPR/Cas9 System will be a completely technology in the recent years!