Our potential COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to produce a positive immune response and is poised to move to the next phase of testing.
Our efforts to address the impact of COVID-19
We are committed to creating A Better Tomorrow for all our stakeholders. We are continuing to evolve and build on the many initiatives we have in place to address the global impact of COVID-19.
Additionally, we are ensuring the well-being of our staff around the world and making sure our business continues to operate effectively in these challenging times, whilst providing many forms of direct support.
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.
Other forms of direct support
In addition, as our Chief Executive, Jack Bowles recently highlighted, we are contributing in several other ways including:
Loaning the UK government equipment from our R&D laboratory for use in COVID-19 testing centres
Utilising our 3D printers to make components that will be used in protective face shields
Donating funds to one of our suppliers to secure the manufacture of 25,000 more protective face shields
In several international markets, such as Brazil and Kenya, we’re using our distribution networks to ensure that medical and hygiene equipment reaches vulnerable communities
In Bangladesh, our factory is making a first batch of 60,000 bottles of hand sanitiser
In the U.S. specifically;
The Reynolds Foundation donated to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County, N.C.
Our U.S. subsidiary partnered with North Carolina Gov. Cooper and the N.C. Department of Emergency Management donating N95 masks
Whilst also donating provisions to the King Outreach Ministry, a local crisis-intervention organisation
These global efforts are complemented by donations to emergency and disaster funds, supporting governments as they fight the pandemic on a national scale.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the type of support required globally, and in the communities where we operate, will undoubtedly change. BAT’s support around the world will flex and evolve, responding to the ever-changing needs that this crisis creates.
Notes to Editors
About British American Tobacco: British American Tobacco is a global tobacco and Next Generation Product company with brands sold in more than 200 markets. It employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and has over 200 brands in its portfolio, with its cigarettes chosen by one in eight of the world’s one billion smokers. Leading global brands include Dunhill, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.
About Next Generation Products (NGP): Next Generation Products is part of the British American Tobacco Group and is focused on developing and delivering high-quality alternative nicotine and tobacco products for adult consumers in the key areas of Vapour, Oral and Tobacco Heating Products. For more information see www.goVype.com and www.bat-science.com.
About Tobacco Harm Reduction: The only way to avoid the risks associated with tobacco use is not to consume tobacco at all, and the best way to reduce the risks is to stop using tobacco. However, the concept of harm reduction is increasingly being considered in relation to tobacco use. Harm reduction is about finding practical ways to minimise the health impact of an inherently risky activity or behaviour, without seeking to stop it entirely. It is a key element of BAT’s business strategy and is being discussed by some regulators. We think it’s important to work towards producing consumer-acceptable, potentially reduced risk products. We believe that tobacco regulatory policies should include harm reduction approaches for the millions of adults globally who will continue to consume tobacco products.
The Public Health Impact of e-cigarettes: Many in the public health community believe e-cigarettes offer great potential for contributing to tobacco harm reduction policies. A 2018 updated evidence review by Public Health England*, an executive body of the UK Department of Health, concludes that vaping is around 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. The UK’s Royal College of Physicians have said that the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking and that they should be widely promoted as a substitute for smoking.
For more information: email Joanna_Hunt@bat.com or call +44 (0)7858 375461