BAT makes progress on COVID-19 vaccine & provides community support
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.
15 May 2020
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.