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Daiichi Sankyo, KM Biologics start COVID vaccine trials

  • March 22, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 9:39 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)–Daiichi Sankyo Co. <4568> said Monday that it has started a clinical trial in Japan for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed jointly with the University of Tokyo, with some 150 people to receive the vaccine in the initial stage of the trial.


Meanwhile, KM Biologics Co., a Kumamoto-based unit of food and pharmaceuticals group Meiji Holdings Co. <2269>, started testing its own vaccine on the same day.


The Daiichi Sankyo vaccine is designed to produce antibodies by using synthesized messenger RNA carrying genetic information of the novel coronavirus.


Vaccines developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc. and U.S. biotech startup Moderna Inc. use similar technology.


KM Biologics, along with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and others, is developing a so-called inactivated vaccine using the pathogen after depriving it of the ability to infect.


The company plans to administer its vaccine to 210 people in the initial trial stage to check whether antibodies will be created in their bodies. It will expand the trial later in the year, aiming to put the vaccine into practical use in fiscal 2023.


Among other Japanese companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, AnGes Inc. <4563>, a startup related to Osaka University, and major drugmaker Shionogi & Co. <4507> started clinical trials last June and December, respectively.

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