Daiichi Sankyo begins trial for mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in Japan
Daiichi Sankyo, a global pharmaceutical company that provides services in 20 countries worldwide, has announced the first vaccinations as part of Phase I/II clinical trials in Japan for its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, DS-5670.
The vaccine, which is being developed in collaboration with Tokyo University, uses nucleic acid delivery technology and was selected for inclusion in a drug discovery programme by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development in August last year.
The clinical trials are being conducted on 152 healthy adults, including elderly subjects, to determine the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and thereby estimate the recommended dose.
In an online statement the company said: “In our role as a Japanese pharmaceutical company engaged in the vaccine business, Daiichi Sankyo will contribute to bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an early end to restore people’s peace of mind and safety in our society.
“Through collaboration with Japan’s Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), our research partner the University of Tokyo, and other organizations, we will proceed with the research and development of this mRNA vaccine and make efforts to ensure that it can be supplied as soon as possible.”
Japan have administered over 500,000 doses of both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, and is currently in the approval process for the Moderna vaccine. However, a Kyodo News survey found that two-thirds of Japanese people think the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines has been slow since its start in February.
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