| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

Japan’s Meiji Holdings says drug unit started late-stage trial for COVID vaccine

Meiji Holdings Co. of Japan reported on Tuesday that its biopharmaceutical company has begun a Phase III study of an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.

Meiji Seika Pharma announced in a statement that the late-stage experiment involving 780 participants had begun and will go from November to April 2024.

The trial will test the effectiveness of the vaccine, developed by U.S.-based Arcturus Therapeutics Inc, in comparison with the mRNA shot developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE.

The trial was partially funded by Japan’s health ministry, Meiji said, adding that it aimed at establishing a domestic production system for vaccines with a government subsidy.

Japan has depended largely on imported mRNA vaccines for its COVID inoculation campaign.

Daiichi Sankyo Co of Japan said last month its mRNA vaccine candidate had been successful in a trial as a booster shot. The company plans to submit it to regulators in January 2023.

  • Reuters