Daiichi Sankyo in talks with AstraZeneca on virus vaccine supply in Japan
TOKYO (Reuters) - Daiichi Sankyo Co is in talks to provide delivery of a potential coronavirus vaccine currently being developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University for use in Japan.
The discussion follows a series of supply agreements signed by the UK drug maker for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to further efforts to expand the potential treatment studies.
Daiichi Sankyo said in a statement on Friday that one of its subsidiaries would receive an undiluted solution of the vaccine and then do the formulation, packaging, and storage in Japan. AstraZeneca said separately that it is in talks with the Japanese government about the delivery of the potential vaccine, known as AZD1222.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Friday earlier that the government supports domestic vaccine development but is also in negotiations with other parties.
"In any case, the government will work hard to ensure that Japan has the vaccines it needs," said Suga.
In Japan, AnGes Inc and Osaka University are working on a DNA vaccine for the novel corona virus. Shionogi & Co is working on a recombinant type of protein while the University of Tokyo and Daiichi Sankyo are developing an mRNA version.
AstraZeneca has doubled the production and delivery capacity for its potential vaccine to over 2 billion doses.
There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, but about a dozen vaccines from more than 100 candidates worldwide are being tested on humans.
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; editing by Christian Schmollinger, Kirsten Donovan)
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