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COVID-19 Vaccination Candidate: Takara Bio mass-produce vaccines

A Japanese company announces that they are ready to mass-produce a potential COVID-19 vaccine. If everything goes to plan, they will be able to produce around 200,000 vaccines this year.

According to Takara Bio President and CEO Koichi Nakao, in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Takara Bio, a Japanese biotech company, is planning to mass-produce coronavirus disease vaccine within the year.

Takara partnered with bio company AnGes and Osaka University to develop the DNA vaccine. The clinical trials will start in the summer season of the country.

Japan’s government is also supportive of the idea as its health ministry approves a production and sales license this fall. This means that the company would be ready to supply the vaccines to 200,000 people this year.

The vaccines would be produced in Takara’s main factory in the city of Kusatsu. Once the drug companies can mass produce vaccines, the governments can start easing the current restrictions on people’s movements and business activities.

Nakao said facilities to produce hundreds of vaccines required for the trial are “perfectly ready.” He also said, “there is no problem [with mass production] if we apply the existing technologies.”

The DNA vaccine will take some COVID-19’s gene information and give it to the patient’s immune system. The immune system then will be able to attack the virus as soon as it enters the body.

The vaccine can be produced faster compared to existing ones that weaken the virus. Takara Bio plans to use production facilities previously used for gene therapy drugs.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 60 vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus developed by pharmaceutical companies and startups around the world.