London-based British American Tobacco (BAT), which is the world's second-largest manufacturer of cigarettes, has claimed that it has developed a vaccine for the novel coronavirus and that the vaccine is all set to be tried on humans. The company said on Friday that the experimental vaccine that it has come up with has shown promise.
"We have committed funds to conduct these clinical trials, which could start as early as late June, pending the responses from relevant health bodies," British American Tobacco said in its statement.
The drug that the company is claiming to have manufactured has been synthesized using proteins from tobacco leaves on humans.
In April, BAT announced that its biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), was developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
Since then, we have been completing pre-clinical testing and are pleased to report the potential vaccine has been shown to produce a positive immune response. As such, the vaccine candidate is now poised to progress to the next stage which will be Phase 1 human clinical trials pending FDA authorisation.
We have committed funds to conduct these clinical trials, which could start as early as late June, pending the responses from relevant health bodies. We have also invested in additional equipment to boost our manufacturing capabilities should they be needed.
We have submitted our Pre-Investigative New Drug package to the U.S. FDA who have acknowledged its submission whilst our correspondence with other government agencies around the world continues. We are hopeful to receive further feedback in the coming weeks.
BAT is the manufacturer that supplies tobacco to major cigarette brands across the planet including Dunhill and Rothmans.
COVID-19 cases worldwide have surged past 4.6 million while the death toll has reached 308,000. In India, over 80,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported while the death toll is nearing in on 3,000.
(Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer across the world)