(Repeats to widen distribution)
June 19 Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T) will resume production of influenza
vaccines after more than a decade, using technology from U.S.
firm Baxter International Inc (BAX.N), the Nikkei business
The company that aims to begin shipments in 2014 would
invest 30 billion yen ($329.9 million) to 50 billion yen, the
The Osaka-based firm will initially develop a vaccine to
immunize against H5N1 avian flu, it said.
After clearing the new vaccine through clinical trials,
Takeda will begin mass production and is expected to build up
capacity to turn out enough vaccine for at least 40 million
people, the daily said.
The company also expects to receive 1 billion yen to 3
billion yen in Health Ministry subsidies for the effort, the
Takeda expects flu vaccine demand to remain high in the
Japanese market and sees growth opportunities elsewhere in
Asia, the daily said.
Takeda will set up a new testing facility at its Hikari
plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture and use Baxter's cell-culturing
technology to produce vaccines faster than conventional methods
that use chicken eggs, the Nikkei said.
Takeda and other major Japanese drugmakers pulled out of
flu vaccine production in the mid-1990s after a legal change
made immunizations voluntary, shrinking the market, the paper
($1=90.92 YEN) (Reporting by Debasmita Ghosh in Bangalore;
Editing by Vyas Mohan)