Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Takeda gets financial support from US to develop Zika vaccine

PBR Staff Writer Published 02 September 2016

Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical has won US government funding to develop a vaccine for the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has selected the company’s vaccine business unit to develop an inactivated, adjuvanted, whole Zika virus vaccine.

Takeda will receive $19.8m in initial funding to cover the vaccine development through phase I, with potential funding of up to $312m if BARDA exercises all options to take the vaccine through phase 3 trials and a biologics license application filing in the US.

The initial stage of the work requires Takeda to develop and produce the investigational vaccine and complete pre-clinical studies,

Takeda is also required to submit an investigational new drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration, and carry out a Phase 1 clinical trial.

The vaccine will be manufactured at the company’s plants in Hikari, Japan. 

Takeda said it also in talks with BARDA and the Cabinet Secretariat of the Prime Minister Office regarding potential participation of Japanese health agencies in the collaboration, citing commitments by the Japanese government to infectious disease preparedness.

Takeda corporate officer and president of the global vaccine business unit Rajeev Venkayya said: “The Zika emergency demands swift action by governments, public health agencies, medical and scientific communities, industry and others, and partnerships are essential for success.”

BARDA acting director Richard Hatchett said: “To help protect people from Zika in the U.S. and abroad, we are aggressively pursuing the development of promising vaccine candidates around the world.

“Successfully combating this virus will take a global collaborative effort to protect people from the threat Zika poses to public health.

The collaboration follows Takeda’s work in dengue, norovirus, and a partnership with the Japanese government on pandemic influenza.