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Japanese flu vaccine maker taps tobacco plants for fast output

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma's method shortens production time to just one month

Mitsubishi Tanabe is trying to commercialize a production method for flu vaccines that uses tobacco plants.

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has developed a technology to produce an influenza vaccine in just four to five weeks using tobacco plants, a process that could revolutionize an industry that has been using the same production method for more than 60 years.

The Japanese company plans to file for U.S. approval of production and sales before the March 2019 end of the current fiscal year, and hopes to bring the new vaccine to the market in fiscal 2019.

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