London-Based Cigarette Maker Is Dabbling With COVID-19 Vaccine Trials 

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NEW DELHI: London-based British American Tobacco company said on Friday that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine has shown promising results in laboratory testing and is now ready to enter human trials.

British American Tobacco company is the world's number 2 manufacturer of cigarettes.

The company said it is in touch with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies across the world regarding the novel coronavirus vaccine.

The company said "it is pleased to report the potential vaccine has been shown to produce a positive immune response" in pre-clinical testing and "is now poised to progress to the next stage which will be Phase 1 human clinical trials pending [US] 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," British American Tobacco said in its statement.

However, the company has not yet find any mention on the WHO's global database of vaccine candidates for COVID-19. The database, which was last updated on May 11, currently lists 110 potential vaccines.

Experts note that a novel coronavirus vaccine is still around two years away as scientists and researchers are trying to find a cure in an unprecedented pace.

Also read | COVID-19 India Update May 16: 3,970 New Cases In Last 24 Hours, Tally Rises 85,940

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