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

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British cigarette firm Benson and Hedges maker could be producing up to 3 million doses of a vaccine a week by June
British cigarette firm Benson and Hedges could be producing up to 3 million doses of a vaccine a week by June

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).

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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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