British American Tobacco (LON: BATS) can now test Covid vaccine on humans


 British American Tobacco has been given the go-ahead to test the Covid vaccine testing on humans in the US. The US Food & Drug Administration has allowed the company to start its clinical study with adult volunteers.

  • BAT has previously said that it can produce its own vaccine in six weeks, compared with others taking several months in doing that.
  • BAT has also said that its vaccine is more stable at room temperature, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which requires a temperature of below 70c.
  • Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), the biotechnology division of the company has been developing the vaccine alongside a seasonal flu vaccine. It had earlier worked on a treatment for Ebola.
  • KBP has claimed that it can turn tobacco plants into “bio-manufacturing factories” capable of producing proteins.
  • As per British American Tobacco, for the Covid-19 vaccine, KBP had cloned a part of the genetic sequence of coronavirus and created a prospective antigen, which is then injected into tobacco plants for breeding.
  • Reacting to the development, director of scientific research for BAT, Dr David O’Reilly said that the approval for human trial for both the Covid-19 and the seasonal flu vaccine is a big achievement and portrays the company’s growing reach in emerging biologicals portfolio.
  • The stocks of British American Tobacco Plc (LON: BATS) on 17 December 2020, traded lower by 2.57% from its previous closing, hovering at around GBX 2,786.50 at 14:29 PM GMT+1.

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