British cigarette firm develops coronavirus vaccine in huge ‘breakthrough’ with its tobacco plant technology

Benson and Hedges maker British American Tobacco (BAT) is developing a potential vaccine to combat the deadly coronavirus using tobacco plants and says it could produce three million doses a week by June.

THE company said: “If testing goes well, BAT is hopeful that, with the right partners and support from government agencies, between 1 million and 3 million doses of the vaccine could be manufactured per week, beginning in June.”

Dr David O'Reilly, director of scientific research at BAT, said: "Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant breakthrough with our tobacco plant technology
Dr David O’Reilly, director of scientific research at BAT, said: “Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant breakthrough with our tobacco plant technology.”

The company says it will begin clinical trials on humans soon and is currently running pre-clinical tests, the treatment is being developed by the company’s bio-health division, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP).

KBP was one of the few firms that helped develop an effective treatment for Ebola in 2014.

The company claims to have found an antibody that appears to fight Covid-19, using genetically modified tobacco plants, urgent talks with US drug authorities to fast-track permissions.

 

 

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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