One of the world's top tobacco manufacturers, British American Tobacco claims to have developed a potential COVID-19 vaccine and that the drug is ready for human trials. As per reports, the company has been conducting pre-clinical trials and claims the potential COVID-19 vaccine has shown to produce a positive immune response.
In April, the company had announced that its biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), was developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
"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 US 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," the company said on its website.
The world's second-largest tobacco manufacturer also highlighted how it is contributing to the fight against COVID-19 pandemci in several other ways. British American Tobacco on its website has mentioned that it is producing 60,000 bottles of hand sanitiser in Bangladesh and also utilising its 3D printers to make face shields for healthcare workers.
The company has also said that it is using its distribution networks in countries like Brazil and Kenya to ensure medical equipment reach vulnerable communities in time and has also loaned its R&D equipment to the UK government for use in COVID-19 testing centres.
The novel coronavirus outbreak is still claiming thousands of lives across the world as countries race to develop a vaccine for the contagious infection. As per reports, eight countries have so far started conducting human trials of potential COVID-19 vaccine, including China, the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
US President Donald Trump while announcing 'Operation Warp Speed' had suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine will be ready by the end of 2020, as opposed to health experts. The White House Coronavirus taskforce member Dr. Anthony Fauci had earlier said that the vaccine development could take 12 to 18 months before it is fully ready to deliver.
(Image Credit: AP)