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Takeda, Moderna partner up to bring 50M coronavirus shots to Japan

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. 

RELATED: Takeda teams up with Novavax to introduce its coronavirus vaccine in Japan

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