Takeda and Osaka University establish Joint Research Chair

To develop a platform for the application and commercialisation of nanoparticle vaccines

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company of Japan has agreed with Osaka University to establish a Joint Research Chair for three years to develop a platform for the practical application and commercialisation of vaccines using hydrophobic poly (γ-glutamic acid) (γ-PGA) nanoparticles as an adjuvant.

Takeda launched its Vaccine Business Division on 1 January, which will pursue opportunities ranging from enhancing vaccine pipelines through in-licensing and establishing a new technology platform, to geographical expansion outside Japan. The new Joint Research Chair has been established at Osaka University as part of Takeda’s vaccine strategy and will further develop chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) research.

Scientists will conduct research aimed at the practical application and commercialisation of nanoparticle-containing vaccines, combining technology developed by Osaka University and Takeda’s expertise in vaccine antigens, drug formulation technology, quality control/standardisation and patent administration.

‘The fundamental research at the Japan Science and Technology Agency – Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (JST-CREST) has already demonstrated that nanoparticles are able efficiently to carry vaccine antigens, actively deliver antigens to dendritic cells, which are antigen-presenting cells, and hence provide a beneficial effect of immune induction,’ said Mitsuru Akashi, Professor of the Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering and research leader of this Joint Research Chair.

‘We will advance the research for practical application of the technology, such as prevention of infectious disease, by combining the fundamental technology of Osaka University with the clinical studies, development, and formulation technology of Takeda.’

Tetsuo Miwa, general manager of the CMC Centre at Takeda, added: ‘We are attempting to develop diverse pipelines by establishing a new platform technology that allows the discovery of innovative vaccines and also maximises the value of existing vaccines.’