Updated: Daiichi Sankyo to establish Japan's first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility — report
Daiichi Sankyo is looking to establish a manufacturing apparatus close to home to begin producing the first made-in-Japan mRNA Covid vaccines.
According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Daiichi Sankyo is installing equipment that will have the capacity to produce 20 million doses a year by the fiscal year 2024. The report says that equipment has been installed at a location in the city of Kitamoto, Japan, northeast of Tokyo, and is operated by the subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo Biotech.
Daiichi Sankyo will eventually use government subsidies to add another mRNA vaccine production section at the site by 2027, according to the report. But details such as the cost of the facility, when it will officially open, or the number of vaccines that the facility plans to manufacture have not been given.
According to a Daiichi Sankyo spokesperson in an email to Endpoints News, the manufacturing site has supplied influenza vaccines and other vaccines in the past.
“The facilities are now being expanded at Daiichi Sankyo Biotech to accommodate manufacturing of the mRNA COVID vaccine. This is the first plant in Japan to submit NDA for COVID mRNA vaccine in January,” the Daiichi Sankyo spokesperson said in the email.
In January, Daiichi Sankyo’s mRNA vaccine for Covid-19, dubbed DS-5670, was submitted for marketing approval to Japanese regulatory authorities. The pharma said in a release at the time that it will plan to move forward with the development of the vaccine to counter the Omicron strain as well.
Japan has also caught the interest of another major vaccine maker, Moderna. Last September, another Nikkei Asia report said that Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel would like to construct a facility in Japan and centralize all processes and manufacturing into one facility.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from Daiichi Sankyo.