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      Emergence of Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: Need for Rapid Vaccine and Biologics Development

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          Abstract

          Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is an emerging pathogen that was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. This virus is responsible for the ongoing outbreak that causes severe respiratory illness and pneumonia-like infection in humans. Due to the increasing number of cases in China and outside China, the WHO declared coronavirus as a global health emergency. Nearly 35,000 cases were reported and at least 24 other countries or territories have reported coronavirus cases as early on as February. Inter-human transmission was reported in a few countries, including the United States. Neither an effective anti-viral nor a vaccine is currently available to treat this infection. As the virus is a newly emerging pathogen, many questions remain unanswered regarding the virus’s reservoirs, pathogenesis, transmissibility, and much more is unknown. The collaborative efforts of researchers are needed to fill the knowledge gaps about this new virus, to develop the proper diagnostic tools, and effective treatment to combat this infection. Recent advancements in plant biotechnology proved that plants have the ability to produce vaccines or biopharmaceuticals rapidly in a short time. In this review, the outbreak of 2019-nCoV in China, the need for rapid vaccine development, and the potential of a plant system for biopharmaceutical development are discussed.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Plant-based vaccines against viruses

          Plant-made or “biofarmed” viral vaccines are some of the earliest products of the technology of plant molecular farming, and remain some of the brightest prospects for the success of this field. Proofs of principle and of efficacy exist for many candidate viral veterinary vaccines; the use of plant-made viral antigens and of monoclonal antibodies for therapy of animal and even human viral disease is also well established. This review explores some of the more prominent recent advances in the biofarming of viral vaccines and therapies, including the recent use of ZMapp for Ebolavirus infection, and explores some possible future applications of the technology.
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            Expression of an immunogenic Ebola immune complex in Nicotiana benthamiana.

            Filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg viruses) cause severe and often fatal haemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. The US Centers for Disease Control identifies Ebola and Marburg viruses as 'category A' pathogens (defined as posing a risk to national security as bioterrorism agents), which has lead to a search for vaccines that could prevent the disease. Because the use of such vaccines would be in the service of public health, the cost of production is an important component of their development. The use of plant biotechnology is one possible way to cost-effectively produce subunit vaccines. In this work, a geminiviral replicon system was used to produce an Ebola immune complex (EIC) in Nicotiana benthamiana. Ebola glycoprotein (GP1) was fused at the C-terminus of the heavy chain of humanized 6D8 IgG monoclonal antibody, which specifically binds to a linear epitope on GP1. Co-expression of the GP1-heavy chain fusion and the 6D8 light chain using a geminiviral vector in leaves of N. benthamiana produced assembled immunoglobulin, which was purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and protein G affinity chromatography. Immune complex formation was confirmed by assays to show that the recombinant protein bound the complement factor C1q. Size measurements of purified recombinant protein by dynamic light scattering and size-exclusion chromatography also indicated complex formation. Subcutaneous immunization of BALB/C mice with purified EIC resulted in anti-Ebola virus antibody production at levels comparable to those obtained with a GP1 virus-like particle. These results show excellent potential for a plant-expressed EIC as a human vaccine. © 2011 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2011 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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              Plant-made pharmaceuticals: leading products and production platforms.

              The number of approaches to recombinant protein production in plants is greater than ever before. Development of these new and improved technologies as production platforms for plant-made pharmaceuticals has and will continue to create new commercial opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector. However, it is inevitable that no single system will be optimal for the production of all recombinant proteins of interest in plants due to both the physical characteristics and the envisaged therapeutic application of each product. Here, we review a range of promising product/platform pairs emphasizing synergies during production and in clinical trials. Copyright © 2011 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pathogens
                Pathogens
                pathogens
                Pathogens
                MDPI
                2076-0817
                22 February 2020
                February 2020
                : 9
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Research unit for Plant-produced Pharmaceuticals, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; balasbm17@ 123456gmail.com (B.S.); malla164_ashwini@ 123456yahoo.co.in (A.M.)
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: Waranyoo.P@ 123456chula.ac.th ; Tel.: 662-218-8359; Fax: 662-218-8357
                Article
                pathogens-09-00148
                10.3390/pathogens9020148
                7168632
                32098302
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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