Cigarette manufacturers offer to make safer drugs from tobacco plants.
British American Tobacco (BAT) is manufacturer of many leading cigarette brands including Dunhill, Lucky Strikes, Rothmans and Benson & Hegdes. BAT believes that it can develop a vaccine for coronavirus by using the tobacco plants.
British American Tobacco is using its maximum resources on making products that can help battle the pandemic.
BAT is hopeful that if the testing works out with the assistance of partners and government support 1-3m vaccines can be made in one week, starting from June.
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The vaccine will be developed with the help of new and glossy growing tobacco plant technology as compared with other conventional techniques.
The US Biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP) of BAT is working on the ore-clinic trials and ensures that the vaccine isn’t profit based.
Back in 2014, BAT bought KBP and worked on the treatment for Ebola pandemic as well. They said that it is potentially safer as tobacco plants cannot host pathogens which causes the human disease.
Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is also engaged with BAT for health and social care in the UK and are offering support and access to the research with the objective to fight COVID-19 and expediting the development of the vaccine.
A scientific research director at BAT said that the vaccine development is challenging and complex however they’ve made a significant breakthrough with the tobacco plant technology and is ready to work with government agencies and other stakeholders to combat COVID-19.
KBP has already been exploring on substitute for tobacco plant usage and one of the substitutes is to use it as a development of vaccine.
BAT has cloned a portion of genetic sequence and created a potential antigen. That antigen is inserted in the tobacco plants for reproduction and upon plant harvesting the antigens are purified. This menthols is under pre-clinical trials now.