TOKYO-The CEO of Takeda Pharmaceuticals stated that the company distributes Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine in Japan and expects the vaccine to become a larger part of its product portfolio as vaccines for dengue fever and COVID-19 are close to regulatory approval.
Takeda is Japan’s largest drugmaker. After acquiring Shire Plc in 2019, it ranked among the top 10 in the world. It is traditionally known for its cancer and gastrointestinal treatments.
But the vaccine determines most of the company’s activities during the coronavirus pandemic because it is committed to bringing foreign-developed vaccines into Japan.
Takeda CEO Christoph Weber said in an interview on Tuesday at the Pharma Japan 2021 meeting of the Reuters incident that vaccine production is a “long-lived business after establishment”.
“For example, there is no universal vaccine. So this is a different type of life cycle, but if you bring innovation, it can be a very good business,” he added.
Takeda’s dengue vaccine was submitted to European regulators in March, and the company said it plans to apply for approval in several South American and Asian countries this year. Takeda has been working on the lens for nearly 10 years and is now in the “final stage,” Weber said.
The company has imported approximately 50 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to Japan and has obtained a license to produce the Novavax Inc vaccine, which is still being tested.
The Japanese government has agreed to purchase another 50 million Moderna vaccines and 150 million Novavax vaccines, which will be delivered next year.
After discovering the presence of small metal contaminants in some vials, Japan recalled approximately 1.6 million doses of Moderna this month. The problem can be traced back to a production line in Spain.
Weber said that such problems sometimes occur in the pharmaceutical industry, but he denied claims that the company is eager to bring vaccines to the market.
As some of its major distributors will lose patent protection in the next few years, Takeda is betting on more than 10 drug pipelines to be developed later. One of them, a blood cancer treatment method called Pevonedistat, withdrew from the trial this month due to poor test results.
“When we have 40 products in the clinical stage, we are not dependent on one or two products in our pipeline,” Weber said.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times