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Pharma Firm AnGes and Osaka University to Initiate Coronavirus Vaccine Testing on Animals
On March 24, 2020, AnGes, Inc, a Japanese biopharmaceutical company, announced that it had completed the development of a DNA vaccine against COVID-19 with Osaka University and it would start testing the vaccine on animals as early as this fall. Without the use of any pathogens, DNA vaccines have advantages such as safety and short production time over conventional attenuated vaccines.
The announcement spiked the shares of AnGes by as much as 17% in the morning trade in Tokyo on March 24, in comparison to a gain of 5.3% in the broader market.
AnGes is a drug-discovery company spun out of Osaka University. Their collaboration on a coronavirus vaccine was announced on March 5. Utilizing DAICEL Corp’s gene-transfer technology, Takara Bio Inc. is in charge of the vaccine production. As the technology facilitates efficient delivery of plasmid DNA encoding antigen protein into the cells, which ensures antibody production. As a result, a highly efficient vaccination can be achieved.
Pharmaceutical companies around the world are rushing to develop vaccines and treatments for coronavirus, which has reached 420,000 cases globally and resulted in over 18,000 deaths. In the meantime, in Japan, leading drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is in the development of a plasma-derived therapy, while the active ingredient in Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s Avigan anti-flu drug is being tested as a treatment in China.
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