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Healthcare

UPDATE 1-Novartis enters Japanese vaccines market

* Deal concerns vaccine for haemophilus influenza Type B

* Takeda Pharmaceuticals to be Novartis’ partner

* Takeda to pay $1.06 mln upfront

ZURICH, May 26 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis NOVN.VX said on Tuesday it will enter the Japanese vaccines market through an agreement with local firm Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

The agreement concerns Vaxem-Hib, a vaccine for the Haemophilus influenza Type B (Hib).

Takeda will become the exclusive partner for Vaxem-Hib in Japan and will pay Novartis 100 million yen ($1.06 million) upfront as well as milestone and royalty payments.

Hib infection is responsible for an estimated 386,000 deaths per year worldwide, Novartis said in a statement citing WHO estimates.

Japan is the world’s third largest vaccine market valued at $640 million and is expected to grow further.

Takeda will be responsible for conducting clinical trials and submitting a New Drug Application (NDA). Following approval, Takeda will label the product and sell the vaccine under the Novartis brand name. ($1=94.70 Yen)

Reporting by Lisa Jucca; Editing by David Cowell

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