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September 7, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Japan to buy 150 million doses of Takeda-made Novavax vaccine – EMA reviews data on Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot

By Chris Lo

The Japanese Government will buy 150 million doses of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine candidate produced by Takeda Pharmaceutical in the country, subject to licensing and approval. Takeda is preparing to produce the vaccine, referred to as TAK-019 in Japan, at its domestic facilities and intends to start supply early next year. The company will also manage clinical trial and regulatory submission activities in the country.

The European Medicines Agency is reviewing data on a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, to be given six months following the second dose in individuals aged 16 years and older. The regulator expects to reach a decision in the next few weeks, unless additional information is needed. EMA is also reviewing data on the use of an additional dose of mRNA vaccines in people with weakened immune systems.

Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero has secured emergency use approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to produce a generic version of Roche’s drug, tocilizumab, to treat Covid-19. The company plans to make the drug available under the brand name Tocira for use in the country by the end of September, Reuters noted. It will be manufactured at Hetero’s facility in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

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