NPR

Tobacco Plants Contribute Key Ingredient For COVID-19 Vaccine

Here's irony: tobacco plants may be key in preventing COVID-19. Two companies are using the plants to produce proteins for a vaccine. One candidate vaccine is already in a clinical trial.
Tobacco plants are being used in the development of COVID-19 vaccines. One is already being tested in humans. Source: Rehman Asad

Historically, tobacco plants are responsible for their share of illness and death. Now they may help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two biotech companies are using the tobacco plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, as bio-factories to produce a key protein from the coronavirus that can be used in a vaccine.

"There's obvious irony there," says , executive vice, one of the companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine from plants.

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