Takeda receives subsidy to develop influenza vaccine

Published: 23-Aug-2011

To establish full-scale manufacturing of Vero cell culture-based vaccine established by Baxter

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company is to receive a JPY23.9bn (US$312m; €215m; £188m) government subsidy to develop development a new influenza vaccine.

The Japanese drugmaker said it had applied for the grant in March.

Last year Takeda entered into a licensing agreement with Baxter International of Illinois, US directed to Baxter’s proprietary Vero cell culture-based influenza vaccine technology. Baxter is one of the few companies in the world with a licensed cell culture-based pandemic influenza vaccine.

Takeda received a government subsidy last year to support the development of Baxter’s technology for influenza vaccines for licensure in Japan. The firm introduced the Vero cell culture-based technology and purification techniques established by Baxter for influenza vaccine production into its experimental production facilities at its Hikari Plant.

With this new subsidy, Takeda will continue the development work it had begun and make preparations for full-scale manufacturing, including constructing a commercial production facility at the Hikari Plant, with the goal of obtaining a new drug approval by the end of the 2013 financial year.

‘Takeda will accelerate the establishment of the production facility and the supply system of new influenza vaccines in Japan, which will enable us to deliver these vaccines to society as early as possible,’ said Yasuchika Hasegawa, president and chief executive of Takeda.

‘In the medium-to-long term, Takeda will strive for the development of vaccines which meet unmet needs and have high social demand, such as combination vaccines, high value-added vaccines using new technologies, and the supply of combination vaccines to the Asian and emerging markets.’

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