British American Tobacco (BAT) has announced the launch of KBio Holdings Limited to accelerate the research, development, and production of novel treatments.
KBio will leverage the plant-based technology capabilities of BAT and Kentucky BioProcessing Inc, the existing BAT-owned US plant biologics organisation.
KBio aims to develop its plant-based production system, which has the potential to offer greater speed, scale-up opportunity, and thermostability.
The new company will focus on delivering treatments for rare and infectious diseases by realising and expanding the potential of both the plant-based technology platform and its existing clinical and pre-clinical vaccines and antibody pipeline.
KBio aims to form R&D collaborations and financing aimed at expanding its pipeline and future portfolio, with an overall goal of financial self-sufficiency.
A standalone operational structure for KBio is being established to support BAT's future plans.
This includes building a new executive leadership team led by Patrick Doyle as the chief executive officer of KBio.
Doyle brings more than 20 years of experience leading biotech companies.
Patrick Doyle, CEO of KBio, said, "I am excited by the opportunity to build on the significant accomplishments made by BAT and KBP. 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. The speed and efficiency demonstrated by the KBio platform has significant potential. This could enable us to progress to clinical studies faster than industry norms, in the hope of delivering treatment solutions more quickly.”
Dr David O’Reilly, BAT’s director of scientific research, said, “Science and innovation are fundamental to BAT and delivering on our purpose of building A Better Tomorrow. We recognise the potential of our innovative plant-based technology and have established KBio to maximise that potential. We are excited to see what the future holds.”