By Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
On October 29th, Takeda announced its plans to supply 50 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273 developed by U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc. in the first half of 2021 in Japan. The vaccine has finally entered Phase 3 clinical study, which has enrolled 30,000 participants to be administered 100 μg of mRNA-1273. If successful, 25 million people in Japan will be vaccinated. A total of two administrations is required for the vaccine to be effective enough against COVID-19. Apart from efforts in the private sector, the Japanese government has agreed to receive 120 million doses of any successfully developed vaccines from UK-based AstraZeneca and US-based Pfizer.
The collaboration is a three-way agreement among Takeda, Moderna, and the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare (MHLW). Takeda will be in charge of bagging regulatory approvals before the 50 million doses of vaccination in Japan, while Moderna will continue to research and develop vaccines and assist Takeda in regulatory issues.
Takeda’s Pain & Gain Amidst the Pandemic
Takeda has been taking various paths to expand its efforts during this tough time. It partnered with Novavax to produce and sell a COVID-19 vaccine in Japan. It has also funded and involved in many COVID-relevant organizations. CoVig-19 Plasma Alliance, one of the organizations Takeda funded, is a leading plasma company that fights against COVID-19 through an investigational hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine approach. Takeda also joined the COVID R&D ALliance, the IMI Care Alliance, and the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) to impose greater influence with its 70 years of experience in supplying vaccines to protect the health of people in Japan and globally.
Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit, Takeda, said, “Takeda is collaborating with the Japanese Government and vaccine developers to provide rapid and sustained access to COVID-19 vaccines in Japan.” He added, “ We have chosen to work with Novavax and Moderna, both of which have promising vaccine candidates, and will continue to support the global response to COVID-19 through R&D efforts across Takeda.”
Takeda’s devotion has brought its operating profit outlook from 395 billion yen to 434 billion yen ($4.2 billion) and net profit outlook from 92 billion yen to 124 billion yen on October 29th. The last projected outlooks were in July; in other words, these prominent increases occurred within three months.
Besides, Takeda has been continuing in other areas of therapeutics and expanding its business. It has increased its net profit from 15.8% to 86.55 billion yen from the sales of its digestive disease treatment Entyvio and hereditary angioedema medication Takhzyro since September 2019 through to the first half of the current business year. Its operating profit spiked 97.7% to 215.59 billion yen, which was attributed to a waiver by the European Commission in May and, in the meantime, saved some responsibilities Takeda made over the acquisition of Shire Pharmaceutical Company in 2019.
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