British American Tobacco, the maker of brands including Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Rothmans and Benson & Hedges, has said it has a potential coronavirus vaccine in development using tobacco plants.
BAT has turned the vast resources usually focused on creating products that pose health risks to millions of smokers worldwide to battling the global pandemic. The company said:
If testing goes well, BAT is hopeful that, with the right partners and support from government agencies, between 1m and 3m doses of the vaccine could be manufactured per week, beginning in June.”
The London-listed company used the announcement to trump the positive aspects of its tobacco empire, saying that “new, fast-growing tobacco plant technology” put it ahead of others trying to develop a vaccine.
We're now exploring partnerships with government agencies to bring the #COVID19 vaccine to clinical studies as soon as possible. Between 1 and 3 million doses of the vaccine could be manufactured per week, beginning in June, if testing goes well. https://t.co/YYdGYcbA4A pic.twitter.com/DCOnJmJEdn
— BAT Press Office (@BATPress) April 1, 2020