Japanese drugmaker Takeda has quickly emerged as one of the leading forces in the fight against COVID-19 as a vaccine manufacturing partner and R&D lead on a convalescent plasma-based therapy. Now, Takeda will help another biotech distribute its potential COVID-19 vaccine in the drugmaker’s home country.
Massachusetts biotech Moderna has tapped Takeda to bring 50 million doses of its mRNA-based COVID-19 shots to Japanese shores as part of a government-backed vaccine distribution effort, the partners said Thursday.
Takeda will import and distribute Moderna’s shot, dubbed mRNA-1273, starting in the first half of next year, as well as handle local regulatory approvals, the drugmaker said. Moderna’s vaccine is currently working through a pivotal, 30,000-patient phase 3 study, with early data expected sometime in late November or after.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. A Moderna spokeswoman could not be reached for comment by press time.