Health Care

Tobacco Major Claims Development Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Ready For Human Trial

Tobacco Major Claims Development Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Ready For Human Trial”

Yes, you read that right.

Pre-clinical tests of the vaccine showed a positive immune response, the London-based tobacco company said Friday in a statement.

British American Tobacco is the world's No. 2 manufacturer of cigarettes, the leading cause of lung cancer across the world. Smoking cigarettes, the two companies' main products, may raise the risk of severe Covid symptoms, according to the World Health Organization. In the second phase, Moderna will enroll 600 healthy volunteers, half of whom are 18-55 years old and the rest over 55 years old, for the trial of its experimental mRNA vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.

On the other hand, the United States had said that a vaccine is likely to be ready by as early as the end of this year, according to US President Donald Trump.

China says vaccine ready for second phase trial

The vaccine is based on an artificially built fragment of the virus called an antigen, which is inserted into tobacco plants for reproduction.

BAT has said that once it gets approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the vaccine, it would progress to Phase 1 trials or testing on humans.

However, BAT's experimental vaccine isn't found on the list of potential vaccine makers database for COVID-19 by World Health Organisation. Some vaccines are already being tried on humans. The database, which was last updated on May 11, however is not meant to be exhaustive and now lists 110 potential vaccines. At the same time, 110 vaccines are going through various stages of development all over the world.

"Fast Track designation underscores the urgent need for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus", said Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at Moderna.

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