The Key To Fighting Ebola May Come From A Tobacco Plant

September 22, 2014 9:21 PM

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If the experimental Ebola therapy ZMapp proves effective, defeating a rare and deadly virus won’t be the only reason the drug is groundbreaking. It also could herald a new age of drug manufacturing involving tobacco plants.

The plant in question is Nicotiana benthamiana, to be exact. It’s a relative of the tobacco plant used to make cigarettes. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the San Diego, Calif. company that created ZMapp, chose to use the plant to create the drugs because it’s particularly susceptible to being infected by p...

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