Polio eradication is a historic event that is on the verge of being the next major victory in public health
Osaka, Japan, May 9, 2016 – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited [TSE: 4502], (“Takeda”) today announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support global polio eradication in developing countries. With this funding, Takeda will develop, license and supply at least 50 million doses per year of Sabin-strain inactivated poliovirus vaccine (sIPV) to more than 70 developing countries. The vaccine will be manufactured at Takeda’s facility in Hikari, Japan. This effort is aligned with Takeda’s strategy to utilize innovation and partnerships to address critical unmet needs in global public health, and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015.
Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda said: “Takeda is honored to partner with the Gates Foundation to support the polio endgame. This represents a major commitment by a Japanese company to the health of children in developing countries around the world.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the Gates Foundation will provide a $38 million grant to Takeda to leverage its innovative vaccine manufacturing platform to develop and license a safe and effective Sabin-strain inactivated polio vaccine, and make at least 50 million doses per year available at an affordable price for developing countries receiving Gavi support. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Takeda’s sIPV was originally licensed from the Japan Polio Research Institute, which is now a part of BIKEN.
Chris Elias, President, Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stated, “In 2016, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio. To eradicate polio we need to ensure every last child is protected from the disease - this partnership will help to ensure that the world has enough vaccine to get the job done and maintain a polio free world.”
“Takeda’s polio program demonstrates our commitment to tackle the most important public health problems and promote access for the populations in greatest need, joining our programs in dengue, norovirus, and hand, foot and mouth disease,” added Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, President of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit. “We’re excited about this partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the potential to reach hundreds of millions of children around the globe as part of the final push to eradicate polio.”
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free. It invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis in a matter of hours. Polio can strike at any age, but it mainly affects children under five years old. 1
Takeda’s Commitment to Vaccines
Vaccines prevent more than two million deaths each year and have transformed global public health. For 70 years, Takeda has supplied vaccines to protect the health of people in Japan. Today, Takeda’s global vaccine business is applying innovation to tackle some of the world’s most challenging infectious diseases, such as dengue and norovirus. Our team brings an outstanding track record and a wealth of knowledge in vaccine development, manufacturing and global access to advance a pipeline of vaccines to address some of the world’s most pressing public health needs.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, R&D-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its research efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas. It also has specific development programs in specialty cardiovascular diseases as well as late-stage candidates for vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. New innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as its presence in emerging markets, fuel the growth of Takeda. More than 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with our partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.takeda.com/news.
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 World Health Organization, http://www.polioeradication.org/Polioandprevention.aspx