It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Aug. 4, 2014 -- ZMapp, the experimental treatment rushed to two Americans infected with Ebola in Africa, is grown in specially modified leaves of tobacco -- a plant better known for harming health than healing.
......Making the serum is slow, in part, because the plants must be grown for several weeks before they are “infected” with a type of protein. “Basically the plants act like a photocopier of the proteins,” Howard says.
Once they’re infected, Howard says it takes a week for the plants to make enough of the protein to harvest and distill into a useable drug.
originally posted by: rickymouse
It might have nothing to do with the added antibodies. Maybe they only do that so they can make it expensive and they can patent it. Maybe the tobacco alone will kill it. It wouldn't be the first time they did something like this to make money.
New York: A tiny San Diego-based company provided an experimental Ebola treatment for two Americans infected with the deadly virus in Liberia. The biotechnology drug, produced with tobacco plants, appears to be working. In an unusual twist of expedited drug access, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, which has nine employees, released its experimental ZMapp drug, until now only tested on infected animals, for the two health workers. Kentucky BioProcessing LLC, a subsidiary of tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc, manufactures the treatment for Mapp from tobacco plants. Read more at: www.livemint.com...
The two scientists behind Mapp, president Larry Zeitlin and chief executive officer Kevin Whaley, are both brilliant, said Charles Arntzen, a plant biotechnology expert at Arizona State University who collaborated with the two researchers years ago. They are very, very bright guys and free spirits. The antibody work came out of research projects funded more than a decade ago by the US Army to develop treatments and vaccines against potential bio-warfare agents, such as the Ebola virus, Arntzen said in a telephone interview.
Read more at: www.livemint.com...
The tobacco plant production system was developed because it was a method that could produce antibodies rapidly in the event of an emergency, he said. To produce therapeutic proteins inside a tobacco plant, genes for the desired antibodies are fused to genes for a natural tobacco virus, said Arntzen. The tobacco plants are then infected with this new artificial virus, he said. The infection results in the production of antibodies inside the plant, Arntzen said. The plant is eventually ground up and the antibody is extracted, he said. The whole process takes a matter of weeks. Read more at: www.livemint.com...
Mapp’s drug is being developed with Toronto-based Defyrus Inc., which has six employees, according to Defyrus CEO Jeff Turner. ZMapp is a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that help the immune system attack the virus. Monoclonal antibodies designed to fight and block specific proteins can stop the virus from latching onto and entering cells, said Heinz Feldmann, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Virology in Hamilton, Montana. The key is to find antibodies that can prevent viral infection, and to attack several points on the virus so that mutants won’t escape treatment, he said. What you want is a cocktail of antibodies that target different domains on the virus so escape is less likely in treatment, he said in a telephone interview. Feldmann said he hasn’t been involved in developing treatments. ZMapp’s predecessor, MB-003, protected three of seven rhesus macaques in a study run in 2013 by Mapp and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Read more at: www.livemint.com...