Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ebola Drug From Tobacco Part of Promising Therapies


Ebola Drug From Tobacco Part of Promising Therapies 

Aug 5, 2014 8:55 PM CT, Bloomberg


On a small plot of land incongruously tucked amid a Kentucky industrial park sit five weather-beaten greenhouses. At the site, genetically-modified tobacco plants contain one of the most promising hopes for developing an effective treatment for the deadly Ebola virus.

The plants contain designer antibodies developed by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and are grown in Kentucky by a unit of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) Two stricken U.S. health workers received an experimental treatment containing the antibodies in Liberia last week. Since receiving doses of the drug, both patients’ conditions have improved.

Tobacco plant-derived medicines, which are also being developed by a company whose investors include Philip Morris International Inc. (PM), are part of a handful of cutting edge plant-based treatments that are in the works for everything from pandemic flu to rabies using plants such as lettuce, carrots and even duckweed. While the technique has existed for years, the treatments have only recently begun to reach the marketplace.

Read more.....