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Novavax Partners With Takeda for Japan Output of Covid Drug

Takeda will leverage its manufacturing capabilities in Japan to produce Novavax's coronavirus treatment candidate.

U.S. drugmaker Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax, Inc. Report and Japanese drugmaker Takeda  (TAK) - Get Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report unveiled a partnership to develop, produce and commercialize Novavax's coronavirus-vaccine candidate in Japan.

The company's NVX-CoV2373 is a protein made using Novavax's nanoparticle technology. Takeda will receive funding from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to support the technology transfer. 

"Takeda’s leading position in Japan, technical expertise, regulatory know-how and manufacturing capacity make the company an ideal partner to further expand the global availability of NVX‑CoV2373,” Stanley Erck, president and chief executive of Novavax, Gaithersburg, Md., said in a statement.

Takeda will manufacture and sell up to 250 million doses of Novavax's drug candidate.

Separately, Japan also said it planned to buy 120 million doses of AstraZeneca's AZN experimental covid vaccine, beginning with a purchase of 30 million doses by March next year. 

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Last week Japan also said it planned to buy 120 million doses of Pfizer's PFE coronavirus vaccine candidate. 

"We hope each development will succeed, but it is generally said that vaccine development is quite difficult," Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said, according to Reuters. "With this in mind, we are talking to other vaccine makers as well."

On Friday, Pfizer said it signed a multiyear agreement to produce and supply Gilead Sciences'  (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Report investigational coronavirus treatment remdesivir.

In July, the U.S. placed a $2 billion order for 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus treatment candidate. The agreement enables the government to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.

Novavax shares at last check rose 1.3% to $169.64, while Takeda American depositary receipts declined 0.4% to $18.12.