Tobacco has become a vilified plant in modern society but it could also hold the key to ridding the world of the threat posed by COVID-19. As medical professionals around the world race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, British American Tobacco (BAT) is studying its own potential remedy for the viral pandemic–tobacco plants.
BAT is known for its tobacco brands like Lucky Strike but in recent weeks it’s turned its turned its focus on finding an answer to the growing coronavirus situation. According to a report from The Guardian, BAT is hopeful that with the right partners and support from the government, between 1-3 million doses of the vaccine could be manufactured per week beginning in June 2020.
Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), a subsidiary of BAT, has begun pre-clinical testing and has reportedly begun working on the possible coronavirus vaccine on a not-for-profit basis. BAT is also reached out to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care to offer its support and access to its research in order to help speed up the development of a coronavirus vaccine.