BAT revealed in April its US bio-tech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing was working on a plant-based vaccine for the virus
It is set to progress to phase one human clinical trials, pending Food and Drug Administration authorisation
Tobacco giant BAT is ready to move to human trials for its potential Covid-19 vaccine after pre-clinical testing produced a positive immune response.
British American Tobacco revealed in April its US bio-tech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing was working on a plant-based vaccine for the virus. The Lucky Strike owner claimed at the time it could potentially manufacture up to three million doses a week by June if it was successful.
“Our potential Covid-19 vaccine has been shown to produce a positive immune response and is poised to move to the next phase of testing,” the company said this week.
The vaccine candidate is now set to progress to the next stage of development, which will be phase one human clinical trials, pending Food and Drug Administration authorisation.
The vaccine in development uses BAT’s proprietary, fast-growing tobacco plant technology, which the company said had several advantages over conventional vaccine production technology.
“We have committed funds to conduct these clinical trials, which could start as early as late June, pending the responses from relevant health bodies,” BAT added. “We have also invested in additional equipment to boost our manufacturing capabilities should they be needed.”
A biotech company part-owned by tobacco rival Philip Morris is also working on a vaccine.