Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical (TYO: 4502) and privately-held Indian company Biological E Limited (BE) have entered into a collaboration whereby two licensing agreements to expedite the development and delivery of affordable combination vaccines have been executed.
BE will commercialize the vaccines in India, China and low- and middle-income countries where large, unmet public health needs exist.
Takeda has sold both the measles and pertussis vaccines in the Japanese market for more than 20 years. In heavily populated countries like India, where 25.7 million births occurred in 2015, substantial opportunities remain to deliver critical vaccines to those who need them. In the absence of access to vaccines in many parts of the world, this partnership illustrates Takeda’s desire to forge the kind of collaborations needed to overcome this public health challenge in low- and middle-income countries.
“Access to medicines is one of Takeda’s core values, and these agreements align with Takeda’s strategic goals to make high-impact contributions to global public health, either alone or through partners,” said Rahul Singhvi, chief operating officer, Takeda Vaccine Business Unit, adding: “These two agreements along with our current vaccine pipeline underscore our global commitment to address important infectious diseases across the globe.”
Under these agreements, Takeda will conduct a transfer from Japan to BE its existing measles and acellular pertussis vaccine bulk production technology, including the provision of technical services such as support in infrastructure review, training for production and quality control, technical assistance in process development, preclinical study design and production of clinical batch and the first commercial batches.
BE will scale up the bulk production technology transferred from Takeda and will be solely responsible for conducting and funding development activities for the combination vaccines. BE has rights to use Takeda’s measles vaccine technology for a combination MR vaccine and the right to use Takeda’s pertussis vaccine technology for any pertussis-containing combination vaccine. BE will have commercialization rights for the MR and pertussis vaccines in India, China and selected public markets worldwide as defined in the agreements.
According to Mahima Datla, managing director at BE: “At the core of our mission is to develop and commercialize affordable vaccines. We have successfully demonstrated this through our DTwP franchise in developing countries, and this collaboration allows us to serve additional markets and diversify our geographic presence. In the context of MR, we look forward to contributing to the measles elimination goals and protection against rubella.”