British-American Tobacco Giant Enters COVID-19 Vaccine Race with ‘Tobacco Plant Platform’

British-American Tobacco Giant Enters COVID-19 Vaccine Race with ‘Tobacco Plant Platform’

Reynolds American Inc. isn’t known for innovative biotech research and development but that is absolutely what a subsidiary venture knowns a Kentucky BioProcessing LLC is engaged with and now entering into a Phase I clinical trial for a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. After all, with massive tobacco fields as a preclinical laboratory, the parent affords the subsidiary a novel opportunity to infect fast-growing tobacco plants with a genetically modified COVID-19 to assess the feasibility of antibody production in support of the vaccine.

Background

Back in 2014 the tobacco giant acquired the assets and liabilities of Kentucky BioProcessing but in the meantime stated little about the asset. The British parent—British American Tobacco Plc (BAT) recently promoted the pre-clinical trial testing anticipated for the next couple months. Well by this past Friday, BAT declared “the potential vaccine has been shown to produce a positive immune response.” They British parent continued,, “As such, the vaccine candidate is now poised to progress to the next stage which will be Phase I human clinical trials pending FDA authorization.”

Preparation for Phase I

Now BAT via t...

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