Japanese Company Produces Fastest Vaccines Using Tobacco Leaves

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Japanese pharma company Mitsubishi Tanabe has developed a vaccine production process using tobacco leaves which allows it to manufacture the vaccines at one sixth of the time taken normally, Japanese financial daily Nikkei reported Tuesday.

The influenza virus used to develop vaccines is normally grown in chicken eggs with the entire process taking around half a year.

There are also methods, including those in which insects are used to incubate the virus, which reduce the time to approximately three months, but the new method with tobacco leaves reduces the production time to a month.

The Osaka-based company has created the technique using technology developed by the Canadian company Medicago (which it acquired in 2013) to implant genetic material in leaves which produce flu-like particles containing antigens, which cause antibodies to be produced.

Source: La Prensa (link opens in a new window)

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