British American Tobacco - BAT appoints new Chief Medical Officer

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BAT appoints new Chief Medical Officer

17 February 2022

BAT has appointed Dr. Senthil Vel, MBBS MBA MFPM FFPM, as its new Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Senthil Vel, Chief Medical Officer, BATDr Vel will play a central role in BAT’s extensive research and development programmes, which supports the company’s commitment to reducing the health impact of its business by offering consumers a range of alternative reduced risk*† tobacco and nicotine products.

Based at the BAT’s Research & Development hub in Southampton, Dr Vel will be responsible for overall medical governance, ensuring robust medical processes and best practice are applied to all aspects of BAT’s work.  He will help deliver robust evidence-generation programmes designed to provide further scientific evidence that supports BAT’s new categories products.

Dr. David O’Reilly, Director, Scientific Research at BAT, said: “Sen is a highly experienced, much admired physician, with a proven track record of positively impacting national and global health policy, making him a natural addition to our leadership team. BAT has made significant progress over recent years to advance our commitment to tobacco harm reduction and deliver our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow. Sen’s experience will build on, and help accelerate, that progress.”

Dr Vel brings more than two decades of international medical, pharmaceutical and device experience to BAT. Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Bio Products Laboratory. He has led large medical teams across EMEA, APAC, and the US, working for large and mid-sized pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Boston Scientific and Novo Nordisk, in clinical research, regulatory, safety, and medical affairs.

His experience includes designing non-clinical and clinical strategies to meet the regulatory requirements of the FDA, EMA, MHRA, and other major agencies worldwide. He has extensive experience in non-clinical and Phase I to Phase IV clinical studies including health outcomes programmes for pharmaceuticals and devices. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Physicians, the medical body for advancing the science and practice of pharmaceutical medicine for the benefit of the public.

Dr Vel qualified in medicine and trained in surgery under the Royal College of Surgeons of England and holds specialist registration in pharmaceutical medicine. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.


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* Based on the weight of evidence and assuming a complete switch from cigarette smoking. These products are not risk free and are addictive.
† Our products as sold in the US, including Vuse, Velo, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Camel Snus, are subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation and no reduced-risk claims will be made as to these products without FDA clearance.

Forward-looking statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including "forward-looking" statements made within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "believe," "anticipate," "could," "may," "would," "should," "intend," "plan," "potential," "predict," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "outlook", "target" and similar expressions. These include statements regarding our customer target ambition, New Categories revenue targets and our ESG targets.

All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors. It is believed that the expectations reflected in this release are reasonable but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. A review of the reasons why actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations disclosed or implied within forward-looking statements can be found by referring to the information contained under the headings “Forward-looking statements” and "Group Principal Risks " in the 2020 Annual Report and Form 20-F of British American Tobacco p.l.c. (BAT).

Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 20-F and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC's website, and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from the British American Tobacco website

Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this release and BAT undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.