Commercial Takeda looks to expand vaccine business with traction in...

Takeda looks to expand vaccine business with traction in Covid-19 and dengue


The Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda is collaborating with Moderna and Novavax to have their COVID-19 vaccines accessible in Japan. Takeda’s CEO sees vaccines’ paramount contribution in the drugmaker’s flourishing business with these new products and progress of its Dengue shots under its belt.

“There is no generic of vaccines, for example. So it’s a different type of lifecycle, but it can be a very good business if you bring innovation,” stated CEO of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Christophe Weber.

The drug giant had a $59 billion megamerger with Shire after which it has put an added emphasis on its vaccine group. The availability of Moderna’s mRNA based COVID-19 vaccine in Japan is credited to this giant pharma.  

The rollout of vaccines recently had a hard hit as the distributed vials have shown traces of contaminants which the two companies have traced back to the production line at a contract manufacturer in Spain, resulting in revocation of 1.63 million doses, hence halting vaccination process.

Weber dismissed the suspicion that the contaminants resulted largely because of incautiousness due to the briskness in manufacturing COVID shots and said that such problems can occur during manufacturing processes.

However, the two companies have appeased that the contaminants aren’t expected to compromise the safety.   

Meanwhile, Takeda is also contributing largely in manufacturing, regulatory submission and marketing of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed NVX-CoV2373, in Japan, which is an adjuvant protein-based COVID shot.

The Japanese government has planned to purchase 150 million doses of the said vaccine’s investigational shot lately. According to the company, the Japanese regulators’ approval is expected this year. 

Takeda’s interest in vaccine business predated current COVID programs. TAK-003 is company’s Dengue vaccine ready to be commercialized with EU regulatory decision anticipated in the coming year.

The said vaccine is expected to be introduced in populated Dengue-endemic countries in Southeast Asia and North America, and also United States, in 2022.

Sanofi’s Dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, is largely renounced after the company found out that it could create higher chances of previously uninfected people to get severely affected upon being infected. Whereas, Takeda’s TAK-003 Dengue vaccine indicated no evidence of intensification of the disease in seronegative people along with the strong efficacy in reducing Dengue-related ailment.

The Japanese pharma giant is building production capacity to develop and manufacture approximately 50 million doses of TAK-003 in a year. As per the prediction, the peak sales of this vaccine can bring whopping $1.6 billion to the company.       

Apart from COVID and Dengue vaccines, the drugmaker is also working on Zika vaccine, dubbed TAK-426, expecting to launch it within next 4 to 5 years.

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