According to reports, the Japanese pharmaceutical company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is intending to produce the world's first plant-based Covid-19 vaccine, which will likely be less expensive, easier to carry, and store than traditional vaccines. According to the Financial Times, the vaccine candidate will be created by the Osaka-based company's subsidiary Medicago from a tobacco plant by December 2021.
Unlike several current vaccinations, the vaccine technology used here is made up of virus-like particles that imitate the target infection and do not employ a live virus, making it reasonably safe for people. The Japanese pharmaceutical company hopes to penetrate into a market dominated by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca with this innovative technology. However, scientists predict global demand for Covid vaccinations to stay strong as new strains of the virus arise, according to the paper.
Medicago's vaccine can be made in five to eight weeks, as opposed to the eight months to a year it takes to make a regular seasonal flu vaccination. Faster manufacturing will also make it easier to adapt to new strains, according to the article. Furthermore, plant-based vaccines do not require deep freezing during transit because Medicago's vaccine may be stored at temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, according to the paper.