COVID-19 Vaccine

A Promising COVID-19 Vaccine Made From Tobacco Plants

British American Tobacco (BAT) – the parent company of global cigarette brands Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall and Rothmans – announced yesterday that it has begun pre-clinical testing on a tobacco plant-based COVID-19. BAT’s biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing, which previously manufactured a treatment for Ebola, is in charge of the vaccine development. Although the COVID-19 vaccine is at an early stage, BAT’s leadership are optimistic:

Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant breakthrough with our tobacco plant technology platform and stand ready to work with governments and all stakeholders to help win the war against COVID-19. We fully align with the United Nations plea for a whole-of-society approach…

Dr. David O’Reilly, Director of Scientific Research for BAT

With a streamlined testing and approval process, BAT believes it can begin producing 1 – 3 million doses of the vaccine per week beginning in June. Read the full news release HERE.

Politico reported in February on the potential for a tobacco-based COVID-19 vaccine. Various tobacco companies have pivoted to pharmaceutical development as governments around the world have increasingly taxed and restricted cigarette sales. Tobacco plants have been employed previously in developing influenza vaccines.

Richard Burrows, Chairman of BAT on a Terrace, COVID-19 Vaccine
Richard Burrows, Chairman of BAT

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