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Biotechnology

Tobacco leaves enlisted for speedy flu vaccine production

OSAKA -- Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is developing a process that uses tobacco leaves to produce influenza vaccines within one month -- a sixth of the time typically needed.

     The technique will be put into commercial use as soon as fiscal 2018 or 2019. Mitsubishi Tanabe has all but finished verifying the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines in the U.S. and Canada. The inoculations are set to undergo final clinical trials in the U.S. by the end of this year.

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