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Takeda to supply Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine candidate in Japan

An employee handles trial vaccine samples at a COVID-19 vaccine production base of Sinopharm in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Aug 8, 2020, Kyodo. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Friday it will produce and sell in Japan a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by U.S. biotechnology firm Novavax Inc., Kyodo News reported.

Novavax, which is carrying out clinical trials for the vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, will license and transfer manufacturing technologies to Takeda, the two companies said.

Takeda, which will receive funding from Japan’s health ministry, anticipates the capacity to produce over 250 million doses of the vaccine a year.

It will secure regulatory approval in Japan to supply the vaccine.

“Nothing is more important right now than protecting the world against COVID-19. We are excited to collaborate with Novavax to bring their promising vaccine candidate to Japan,” Rajeev Venkayya, president of Takeda’s global vaccine business unit, said in a statement.

The announcement came as Japan is struggling to stem a resurgence in coronavirus cases after it appeared to have brought it under control this spring without lockdowns.

NVX-CoV2373 is a vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19, a respiratory disease.

Novavax said it has received funding from the U.S. government to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine and aims to deliver 100 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 from as early as late 2020.

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