Studies have shown that since VLPs mimic the same morphology of a native virus without its viral genome it can also be a good candidate as vectors for gene transfer. Its non-replicating property makes it a very viable tool to deliver foreign plasmid DNA. Several studies on the use of VLP as a gene delivery system have shown positive results but validation and further clinical trials has to be performed yet before it becomes available in the market.
During the viral life cycle, a virus transports its genome to a host cell. Hence, the use of a virus can be one of the most efficient and practical way to deliver nanoparticles based drugs as well as diagnostic agents since viruses can be considered as natural nanocarriers. However, the use of virus as delivery system imposes high risk of viral production. It is for this reason that VLPs can be used as a very viable delivery system due to its similarity to a virus, only without the infectious genome in it.
Since VLPs, just like native virus, can also be considered as natural nanocarriers its potential of producing safe and cost effective vaccines is greatly explored. Currently, several VLP based vaccine manufactured by big pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are already available in the market. Some of these vaccines already available in the market are Hepatitis B Virus vaccine and Human Papilloma Virus vaccine. Also, several VLP-based vaccine, for the treatment of influenza, parvovirus, and Norwalk, are currently undergoing clinical trials and are expected to hit the market in the next few years.