Kentucky BioProcessing, Inc. (KBP) is a world leader in using tobacco plants to produce, extract and purify proteins. While much of our work is aimed at producing those proteins for pharmaceutical applications, our processes and technologies also have the potential to yield products for use as nutritional supplements and in cosmetics, fragrances, tobacco products, biofuels and other commercial applications.
Our company’s technologies and the processes we develop make it possible to use the biochemical processes of tobacco plants to produce specific proteins more efficiently and effectively than they can be produced using other biological systems.
KBP’s process has a number of important advantages over more traditional methods to produce similar products. It offers a much faster and less expensive way to move from product concept to actually having material in hand. The speed of the process brings with it the ability to quickly adjust protein design or product specification.
Another important advantage is that plants are not subject to human pathogens, which greatly reduces the risk of protein contamination.
Kentucky BioProcessing, or KBP as it is commonly known, is located in Owensboro, Ky., and began operations in 2006. In January 2014, KBP was acquired by and became an independently operated, wholly-owned subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI). KBP continues to house its large, multilevel indoor plant-growth space, as well as its research and production laboratories, clean rooms and manufacturing operations in Owensboro.
Our operations have the capacity to grow as many as 3 million protein-producing tobacco plants in a production cycle that typically takes about five weeks. Our plants are grown in an automated, climate-controlled environment that can be adjusted to optimize the tobacco plants’ production of a protein of interest.
Hugh Haydon has been president of Kentucky BioProcessing, Inc., since it was acquired by Reynolds American in January 2014. He served as KBP’s chairman and chief executive from the company’s founding in April 2006 until its acquisition by RAI. Under his direction, KBP has built a global network of collaborators and established itself as a leading producer of proteins expressed in plants.
Haydon’s experience prior to the founding of KBP includes serving as the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s commissioner of economic development and as executive vice president of a Washington, D.C., consulting firm focused on identifying and commercializing promising technologies. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Haydon is chair of the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board and former chair of the Kentucky BioAlliance.
Barry Bratcher has been chief operating officer of KBP since the company was founded in 2006. With more than 20 years in the industry, he is among the world’s most experienced leaders in the production, processing and purification of plant-made proteins. Bratcher has worked with a variety of transient-expression technologies, successfully developing and leading more than 30 protein-production projects.
Bratcher is an inventor or co-inventor on issued and pending U.S. patents related to expression or processing of proteins from tobacco plants. He has extensive protein-manufacturing experience at KBP, as well as at Large Scale Biology, where he led protein manufacturing system design and operation prior to joining KBP.
Bratcher is active in Owensboro Public Schools’ Teachers in Technology program and serves as a program advisor at Owensboro Community and Technical College.