Takeda begins Phase II trials of quadrivalent vaccine

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited recently announced that it has entered Phase II clinical trials of a quadrivalent vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio.

The new vaccine, currently known as TAK-361S, is a combination of a Takeda-developed trivalent vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, as well as an inactivated poliovirus vaccine derived from the Sabin strain.

In Japan, a live polio vaccine derived using attenuated poliovirus from the Sabin strain has been used periodically for immunizations, despite a risk that one in several million could develop vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis.

In recent years, pressure has increased for the development of a polio vaccine that carries no risk of VAPP. The polio vaccine used in TAK-361S is inactivated, but derived from attenuated strains. Takeda expects that the safety and efficacy of the drug will be comparable to the inactivated polio vaccines derived from virulent strains, which are often used outside of Japan.

“In order to fulfill our social responsibility as a pharmaceutical company that has been committed to the steady supply of pediatric vaccines over the past 60 years, Takeda will accelerate the development of quadrivalent vaccine TAK-361S containing the inactivated poliovirus vaccine,” Masato Iwasaki, the senior vice president of Takeda’s strategic product planning department, said. “Takeda will continue to develop new influenza vaccines to meet high social needs, and value-added vaccines using new technologies. We will also promote the development of a range of useful and safe combination vaccines with a view to expanding business throughout Asia and in other emerging countries.”

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