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Tobacco Plants Contribute Key Ingredient For COVID-19 Vaccine

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  • Tobacco Plants Contribute Key Ingredient For COVID-19 Vaccine

    October 15, 2020 5:06 PM ET
    JOE PALCA

    Two biotech companies are using the tobacco plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, as bio-factories to produce a key protein from the coronavirus that can be used in a vaccine.

    "There's obvious irony there," says James Figlar, executive vice president for research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. Reynolds owns Kentucky BioProcessing, one of the companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine from plants.

    "To all intents and purposes, it looks like a virus," says Bruce Clark, CEO of Medicago, a Canadian biotech company that's also using tobacco plants to make a vaccine.

    Medicago has already begun testing its vaccine candidate in humans. Results from the initial studies are expected soon.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...vid-19-vaccine
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