Portrait of a girl smoking cigarette

The tobacco giant British American Tobacco has announced the launch of a plant-based biotechnology company called KBio in the United Kingdom.

LONDON — Multinational tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) announced that they have launched a company called KBio Holdings Limited (KBio) to “accelerate the research, development, and production of novel treatments” in plant oriented processing.

This company is meant to leverage the “extensive plant-based technology capabilities” of BAT and the U.S.-based plant biologics organization Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), in Owensboro.

“I am excited by the opportunity to build on the significant accomplishments made by BAT and KBP,” said Patrick Doyle, the chief executive officer of KBio. “I am confident in the potential of KBio’s powerful plant-based platform, capabilities, and emerging early-stage pipeline. To date, the technology has demonstrated its ability to produce novel antibody and vaccine candidates with high purity at a fraction of the time and cost of current technologies.”

BAT’s director of scientific research, Dr. David O’Reilly, added that the establishment of KBio is a crucial step for his company’s long-term efforts to move away from combustible cigarette products.

“Science and innovation are fundamental to BAT and delivering on our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow,” said O’Reilly in a statement. “We recognize the potential of our innovative plant-based technology and have established KBio to maximize that potential. We are excited to see what the future holds.”

In a statement, BAT said that Doyle brings “over 20 years of global executive leadership experience in pharma and biotech.”

“He is a proven leader with a track record of innovation, talent development, and a deep knowledge of pharmaceutical development, M&A and pathways to successful commercialization,” notes the same statement.

“KBio will look to form innovative R&D collaborations and financing aimed at expanding its pipeline and future portfolio, with an ambition of financial self-sufficiency,” adds BAT.

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Michael McGrady is a columnist for Vaping Post's English edition. He is a critically acclaimed journalist with awards and recognition from across the industry. He was a finalist for ECigClick's annual vape awards in 2019 and 2020, a KAC Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarship Fellow in 2019, among other honours. He is also the host of Vaping Weekly, the Post's podcast. All articles express his own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the Editor's view.