Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has developed an influenza vaccine technology in just four to five weeks using tobacco leaves, a process that could revolutionize an industry that has been using the same production method for more than 60 years.
Japan's Nikai newspaper reported Wednesday that the company plans to apply for US approval for the production and sales of the vaccine before the end of the current fiscal year in March 2019 and hopes to introduce the new vaccine in the coming fiscal year.
The new technology will certainly become a tool to change the rules of the game because the current traditional method of production that uses eggs takes more than a year to produce, the company hopes to break the monopoly held by four Western competitors.
"The current process of manufacturing is done by injecting strains of influenza virus into chicken eggs, where the virus multiples and creates the basis of the vaccine and then the virus is later revoked, as this method requires raising chickens and their eggs enriched in a special environment.
She noted that the company's technology, developed by the Canadian unit Mediacago, is through the introduction of genetic information from the influenza viruses spread in the leaves of tobacco and after the cultivation of the vaccine is extracted.
She noted that the company is seeking green light from the United States first because there are already existing genetic engineering standards, and is seeking to cooperate with the Beijing vaccine company.
In the same context other Japanese companies are shortening the production cycle through the use of technology from Baxter International, where the company "Takeda" pharmacological method of transplanting the virus in monkey kidney cells, and developed the Institute of research for chemotherapy, using this technology duck cells while a Japanese company Other dogs have been used.
It is noted that these methods used animals have reduced production time by 6 to 3 months but the problems of production and large costs still have to be resolved.