Here is a piece of news that could well make critics of the tobacco industry jump. As the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) continues to claim victims around the world, British American Tobacco (BAT) announced a few days ago that one of its subsidiaries was working on a potential vaccine against the coronavirus using tobacco leaves.
Surprising? Well not that much! A few days ago now British American Tobacco (BAT) very officially announced that one of its subsidiaries was working on a potential vaccine against the coronavirus using tobacco leaves.
Our US bio-tech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing, is developing a potential # COVID19 vaccine, which is currently in pre-clinical testing. Find out more on our website: https://t.co/YYdGYcbA4A pic.twitter.com/OYS4knGt8z
- BAT Press Office (@BATPress) April 1, 2020
In the pre-clinical testing phase, the vaccine has not yet been approved. If its effectiveness is confirmed, British American Tobacco (BAT) claims to be able to produce between 1 and 3 million doses per week from June, in collaboration " with governments and third-party manufacturers ».
It is its American biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), who managed to clone part of the Covid-19 sequence. This then allowed him to develop a molecule allowing the creation of antibodies capable of protecting against the virus.
In order to be exploitable and to be reproduced, this molecule is injected into tobacco leaves, a method that BAT claims can be more effective than traditional techniques. This step of the process would take six weeks instead of several months.
In 2014, Kentucky BioProcessing, before being bought by British American Tobacco, had developed a vaccine against Ebola. The latter, however, remained at an experimental stage.
Source : Lesechos.fr/