Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Applies for COVID-19 Vaccine Approval

Courtesy of Daiichi Sankyo Co.
A COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Daiichi Sankyo Co.

TOKYO — Daiichi Sankyo Co. said Friday it has applied for health ministry approval for a COVID-19 vaccine it is developing, becoming the second Japanese company to do this, after Shionogi & Co.

Daiichi Sankyo assumes that its messenger RNA vaccine, the same kind as ones developed by U.S. makers Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., will be used for booster shots in Japan.

If its vaccine is put into practical use, Daiichi Sankyo would be the first Japanese maker to offer such a vaccine.

The Daiichi Sankyo vaccine has been confirmed as effective in clinical tests with some 5,000 adults who had completed their second inoculations with existing vaccines, including elderly people.

The vaccine boosted neutralizing antibodies in recipients’ bodies more than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do, according to Daiichi Sankyo.

The vaccine is designed against early coronavirus variants. Daiichi Sankyo is also developing a bivalent mRNA vaccine that can also combat the omicron variant, with a view to applying for approval by the end of March 2024.