Takeda wins exclusive licence to Baxter technology

Takeda will build Vero cell-based manufacturing plant in Japan

Baxter International of the US and Japan’s largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Company have signed a development, license and technology transfer agreement, which gives Takeda an exclusive licence to Baxter’s Vero cell culture-based influenza vaccines for the Japanese market.

The deal extends a previous collaboration centred on bringing the Vero technology into Japan and will involve the companies jointly developing and seeking marketing approval of an H5N1 influenza vaccine.

Takeda will seek funding from the Japanese government for the construction of a Vero cell-based influenza manufacturing facility in Japan with a view to manufacturing the H5N1 influenza vaccine at commercial scale by the end of March 2014.

In return Takeda will make an upfront cash payment to Baxter, as well as development cost reimbursements, payments upon the achievement of certain milestones, plus sales royalties.

Takeda was previously selected as a recipient of a subsidy of up to 3.6 billion yen offered by the Japanese government under its primary supplementary budget to support the investment associated with the development of pandemic influenza vaccines.

As a result of this new agreement with Baxter, Takeda will apply for funding under the secondary supplementary budget for the establishment of commercial facilities for vaccine production.

‘The agreement with Takeda is an important milestone in extending the field of cell culture-based vaccine development and production,’ said Robert Parkinson, chairman and chief executive of Baxter.

‘We believe our joint efforts will help support Japan’s public health efforts, particularly in the high-priority area of pandemic preparedness.’

Yasuchika Hasegawa, president and ceo of Takeda, added: ‘By collaborating with Baxter, a global leader in cell culture-based vaccine technology for influenza, we plan to establish an infrastructure for the production of pandemic vaccines in Japan.’

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