Japan in deals with AstraZeneca, Novavax for COVID-19 vaccines

Darnell Taylor
August 9, 2020

Services for the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial will be delivered at ARC Clinical Research, located at 11714 Wilson Parke Ave., Suite 150, in Austin's Four Points neighborhood.

What Happened: The Swiss government said it has signed to source 4.5 million doses of the vaccine, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is developing, in a bid to get early access.

Japan will order 120 million doses of the experimental vaccine developed by the British pharmaceutical company, beginning with 30 million doses by March next year.

"We hope each development will succeed, but it is generally said that vaccine development is quite hard", Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

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The order for Pfizer's two-dose vaccine regimen covers inoculations for 60 million people in the country of roughly 126 million, Kato said. "This vaccine candidate has the potential to save lives and allow us to return to a way of life that will restore our economy, re-connect our friendships and continue activities we all enjoy".

The deal underscores Astra's frontrunner position in a global race to deliver an effective vaccine, given that Chinese ventures are leading at least eight of the 26 global vaccine development projects now testing on humans. Negotiations between the drugmakers commenced after AstraZeneca agreed to sit down with the Japanese government for broad vaccine supply talks, Daiichi said. It's also a major supplier of hepatitis B vaccine.

The vaccines will be put into the general population for the first time in phase 3, after previous trials have focused on safety, immunogenicity and immune response in a small number of humans, said the World Health Organization official.

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