• April 17, 2024

Tobacco fights Ebola

Tobacco and tobacco manufacturers are in the vanguard of efforts to fight Ebola.

According to a NASDAQ story, US-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical has been working on an Ebola vaccine that is being produced in tobacco leaves at Kentucky Bioprocessing, which is owned by Reynolds American.

Until recently, Mapp’s production of its ZMapp Ebola vaccine has been limited and, prior to the latest Ebola outbreak, output totaled what was needed for pre-clinical and early stage human trials. That meant that only a handful of ZMapp doses were available when healthcare providers came knocking on Mapp’s door asking for an emergency supply.

So Mapp, policymakers and non-profits such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are hard at work on ways to ramp up that production. For example, the US Department of Health and Human Services has put up $25 million this year to help Mapp move forward and, according to the New York Times, the department is talking to Caliber Biotherapeutics, a company that operates the biggest tobacco vaccine facility in the US and that has demonstrated success on monoclonal antibodies for dengue fever and influenza with partner United Therapeutics.

The full story is at: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/should-ebola-fear-tobacco-cm403618.