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Kentucky BioProcessing

Kentucky BioProcessing

Biopharmaceutical company that uses tobacco plants to produce vaccines and pharmaceutical products

Kentucky BioProcessing, Inc. (KBP) is a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. and a member of the British American Tobacco Group. The company uses tobacco plants to express, extract and purify proteins for use as vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. The tobacco used for biomanufacturing recombinant proteins is Nicotiana benthamiana, a variety not used for production of traditional tobacco products.

KBP is developing a vaccine against the virus SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19, which will be carried out on a not-for-profit basis. The company inserted a portion of the viral sequence to serve as an antigen into tobacco plants and reported that it expects to produce 1-3 million doses per week starting in June for pre-clinical testing. The antigens that are produced by the tobacco plants are used to induce an immune response. The antigens are designed to be stable at room temperature.

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