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British American Tobacco claims novel coronavirus vaccine ready for human trials

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British American Tobacco claims novel coronavirus vaccine ready for human trials

British American Tobacco companies claims to have developed a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that, it says, is poised to be experimented on human beings.

London-based British American Tobacco said on Friday that its experimental vaccine for the novel coronavirus has shown promise in laboratory testing and is now ready to enter human trials.

Two of the world’s biggest cigarette makers, Philip Morris and British American Tobacco are trying to devise a defence against the coronavirus, a Bloomberg report said.

According to the report, BAT has already started pre-clinical testing on animals, of a plant-based vaccine via US biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing. Philip Morris, on the other hand, through its partially-owned Canadian unit Medicago, expects to start human trials of a potential vaccine this summer.

On Friday, British American Tobacco said its experimental vaccine “has been shown to produce a positive immune response” in pre-clinical testing. The vaccine is now poised to enter the first stage of human trials in the United States, the company said in a statement.

“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, adding that it is in touch with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies across the world.

British American Tobacco said it had cloned a portion of the virus’s genetic sequence and developed a potential Covid-19 antigen — a protein that induces the production of antibodies and enables the body’s immune system to prevent infection.

The idea is that this antigen, which is essentially a component of the novel coronavirus, would generate an immune response from the body when administered to human beings. And, British American Tobacco claims its antigen-vaccine is now ready for to be tried on humans.

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