Medical company uses tobacco to fight cancer

In Minnesota a start-up company plans to use tobacco to produce cancer treatments.

For decades, tobacco cigarettes have been vilified for being the cause of cancer and now a company wants to use tobacco plants to save lives.

The company MNPHARM specialises in creating advanced plant based treatments. They are now using tobacco to help patients battle life-threatening illnesses.

To make the medicine, doctors will take a biopsy from the patient’s cancer tumour. They will then introduce a sample of the biopsy to a bacterium. The bacterium and the DNA infused sample is then injected into a tobacco plant.

The plant reacts to the infection by creating antibodies. The antibodies are then extracted and given to the patient. The antibodies created by the plant will help the patient fight the cancer tumour.

The founders of the company, Jeff Reinert and Dave Roeser hope they can use this method to create vaccines and cancer antibodies. These medicines usually take years to produce but with their techniques they can get the medicines to the patient faster.

“We use the plant as a factory for the production of antibodies to fight that cancer,” explains Jeff Reinert.

“With the help of its patented cylinder growing system — the company claims it can produce vaccines and antibodies — in tobacco — in as few as six days — roughly 30 times faster than traditional methods.

“Tobacco plants are able to produce the most output and the purest forms of those antibodies and vaccines.”

The company is using science to turn tobacco plants into an opportunity to fight fatal diseases.

MNPHARM grows their tobacco plants in a controlled indoor environment. Plants are commonly used for medical treatments and tobacco’s ability to create antibodies makes it a useful plant to use for biomedical research.

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