Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Thursday it plans to supply 50 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, developed by U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc., in Japan from the first half of next year.
The Japanese drugmaker said it will provide the vaccine based on a three-way agreement with Moderna and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare once the vaccine has been approved.
Takeda said Moderna's Phase 3 clinical trial has completed enrollment of 30,000 participants in the United States. The health ministry said the doses of the vaccine to be distributed by Takeda will cover 25 million people in Japan, as two shots are needed for it to be effective against the novel coronavirus.
The Japanese government has already agreed with British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to receive 120 million doses of any successfully developed vaccine from each company.
Takeda is also preparing to produce and sell in Japan a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by U.S. biotechnology firm Novavax Inc.
"We have chosen to work with Novavax and Moderna, both of which have promising vaccine candidates, and will continue to support the global response to COVID-19," said Rajeev Venkayya, president of the global vaccine business unit at Takeda.
Takeda on Thursday revised upward its operating profit and net profit outlooks in the current business year through March to 434 billion yen ($4.2 billion) and 124 billion yen, respectively, from the 395 billion yen and 92 billion yen projected in July.
The pharmaceutical firm said the upgraded earnings forecasts reflect one-time gains from several announced divestitures that were not included in its previous forecast.
Meanwhile, its sales projection in fiscal 2020 was revised down to 3.2 trillion yen, down from the previous estimate of 3.25 trillion yen.
Takeda reported its net profit grew 15.8 percent to 86.55 billion yen in the first half of the current business year through September from a year earlier, due to robust sales of its digestive disease treatment Entyvio and hereditary angioedema medicine Takhzyro.
Operating profit surged 97.7 percent to 215.59 billion yen, partly due to a waiver by the European Commission in May that freed Takeda of some of the commitments it made as part of its 2019 acquisition of Shire Plc, but revenue dropped 1.59 trillion yen, down 4.2 percent, hurt by the yen's appreciation, which squeezed profits.