Tokyo, June 26: Daiichi Sankyo Co, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies based in Japan, is in talks with United Kingdom's AstraZeneca Plc, which is close to roll-out vaccine doses in September. The company is targeting a deal with the British drugmaker to obtain an undiluted form of AZD1222, the potential vaccine against COVID-19. Coronavirus Vaccine: IMBCAMS, One of Six Candidates in China, Begins Phase 2 of Human Trials.
The undiluted version of AZD1222 will be packaged, stored and commercially distributed by Daiichi under the deal which is likely to be inked with AstraZeneca. The latter, in a separate statement, said it is also conducting direct talks with the Japan government on the supply of potential vaccine.
The silver bullet of AstraZeneca is being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford. The final stage of human trials are underway and the company has even initiated the production.
The vaccine would be rolled out by September, but the commercial sale would be allowed only if the UK drug regulator gives final approval following the phase 3 of human trials.
AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot, while speaking to reporters earlier this month, conceded that producing the vaccine without final trials is a risk involving billions of dollars. But such risks are necessitated in times of a pandemic, he said, adding that the developers are confident that the vaccine would pass the safety norms.
The company eyes to release upto two billion doses of the vaccine by early 2021. It has inked a deal with the European Union to supply 400 million doses to the continent by January.
The Japan government, which is reaching out to AstraZeneca, is also undertaking trials involving domestic and state-run pharmaceutical companies. AnGes Inc and Osaka University are working on a DNA vaccine against coronavirus, whereas, University of Tokyo and Daiichi Sankyo are developing an mRNA version.