Replica of human collagen from tobacco plants could be a medical boon

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Washington, June 11 (ANI): A scientist has succeeded in producing a replica of human collagen from tobacco plants - a feat that could have an enormous impact on the medicine industry.

Commercial collagen is used in surgical implants and many wound healing devices in regenerative medicine. The current market for collagen-based medical devices in orthopaedics and wound healing exceeds 30 billion US dollars annually worldwide.

Currently, commercial collagen is produced from cows and pigs, as well as human cadavers. However, while animal collagen could be a deadly source of viruses or prions, using human cadavers poses ethical issues.

Prof. Oded Shoseyov of the Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture has reported successful co-expression all the five essential genes, required for type I pro-collagen, in transgenic tobacco plants for the production of processed pro-collagen.

Shoseyov's invention on has been patented and CollPlant Ltd. has raised 15 million US dollars to establish the first commercial molecular farming company in Israel and is already manufacturing collagen-based products that have attracted collaborative commercial interest from companies in the US, Japan Europe and Israel.

The scientific findings were published recently in the journal Biomacromolecules. (ANI)

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