Takeda Announces Withdrawal of U.S. BLA for Dengue Vaccine Candidate

Takeda Announces Voluntary Withdrawal of U.S. Biologics License Application (BLA) for Dengue Vaccine Candidate TAK-003

July 11, 2023

OSAKA, Japan and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 11, 2023 – Takeda (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) today announced that the Company has voluntarily withdrawn the U.S. Biologics License Application (BLA) for its dengue vaccine candidate, TAK-003, following discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on aspects of data collection, which cannot be addressed within the current BLA review cycle. The future plan for TAK-003 in the U.S. will be further evaluated given the need for travelers and those living in dengue-endemic areas of the U.S., such as Puerto Rico. The vaccine is approved in multiple endemic and non-endemic countries, with more approvals expected over the coming years.

“Our clinical program was designed to account for the complex global nature of dengue, and data from our 4.5-year trial has built confidence in TAK-003’s ability to help provide long-term protection against dengue, with a positive benefit and risk profile regardless of baseline serostatus,” said Gary Dubin, M.D., president of Takeda’s Vaccines Business Unit. “The urgent global need to combat the growing burden of dengue remains, and we will continue to progress regulatory reviews and provide access for people living in and traveling to dengue-endemic areas while we work to determine next steps in the U.S.”

The efficacy and safety profiles of TAK-003 have been demonstrated through a robust clinical trial program, including a 4.5-year Phase 3 Go to https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT02747927?tab=tablestudy of over 20,000 children and adolescents living in eight dengue endemic areas. The study was designed per World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for a second-generation dengue vaccine, and it considered the need to achieve high levels of subject retention and protocol compliance in endemic regions.1

Last year, TAK-003 received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after going through the EU-M4all process, a parallel review of the vaccine for use in the EU and participating dengue endemic countries around the world. The vaccine has since been approved in the EU, United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Dengue is a global public health crisis and further prevention measures are needed to support the millions of individuals around the world exposed to dengue.

About TAK-003

Takeda's tetravalent dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003) is based on a live-attenuated dengue serotype 2 virus, which provides the genetic “backbone” for all four vaccine viruses.2 Clinical  Phase 2Go to https://classic.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02302066  data in children and adolescents showed that  TAK-003 induced immune responsesGo to https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30556-0/fulltext  against all four dengue serotypes, in both seropositive and seronegative participants, which persisted through 48 months after vaccination.3 The pivotal Phase 3 TIDES trial met its  primary endpoint of overall vaccine efficacy Go to https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1903869 (VE) against virologically confirmed dengue (VCD) at 12 months follow-up and all  secondary endpoints at 18 months follow-upGo to https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30414-1/fulltext  for which there were a sufficient number of dengue cases, including VE against hospitalized dengue and VE in baseline seropositive and baseline seronegative individuals. Safety results from the studies' integrated analysis showed that the rates of Serious Adverse Events (SAEs) were 6.21% in the TAK-003 Group, and 7.56% in the Placebo Group.4 Most frequent unsolicited AEs were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, viral upper respiratory tract infection, viral infection, and pyrexia.

About the Phase 3 TIDES (DEN-301) Trial

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 3 TIDES trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of two doses of TAK-003 in the prevention of laboratory-confirmed symptomatic dengue fever of any severity and due to any of the four dengue virus serotypes in children and adolescents.5 Study participants were randomized 2:1 to receive two doses of TAK-003 0.5 mL or placebo on months 0 and 3, administered subcutaneously. The study is comprised of five parts. Part 1 and the primary endpoint analysis evaluated VE and safety through 12 months after the second dose. Part 2 continued for an additional six months to complete the assessment of the secondary endpoints of VE by serotype, baseline serostatus and disease severity, including VE against hospitalized dengue. Part 3 evaluated VE and long-term safety by following participants for an additional two and a half to three years, as per World Health Organization recommendations.6 Part 4 is evaluating efficacy and safety for 13 months following booster vaccination, and Part 5 will evaluate long-term efficacy and safety for one year after completion of Part 4.

The trial is taking place at sites in dengue-endemic areas in Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua) and Asia (Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka) where there are unmet needs in dengue prevention and where severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children.6 Baseline blood samples were collected from all individuals participating in the trial to allow for evaluation of safety and efficacy based on serostatus. Takeda and an independent Data Monitoring Committee of experts are actively monitoring safety on an ongoing basis.

About Dengue

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that spreads rapidly around the world and was one of the WHO’s top 10 threats to global health in 2019.7,8 Dengue is mainly spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and, to a lesser extent, Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.7 It is caused by any of four dengue virus serotypes, each of which can cause dengue fever or severe dengue.9 The prevalence of individual serotypes varies across different geographies, countries, regions, seasons and over time.10 Recovery from infection by one serotype provides lifelong immunity against only that serotype, and later exposure to any of the remaining serotypes is associated with an increased risk of severe disease.7,11

Takeda’s Commitment to Vaccines

Vaccines prevent 3.5 to 5 million deaths each year and have transformed global public health.12 For more than 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, COVID-19, pandemic flu and Zika. Takeda’s team brings an outstanding track record and a wealth of knowledge in vaccine development and manufacturing to advance a pipeline of vaccines to address some of the world’s most pressing public health needs. For more information, visit www.takeda.com/what-we-do/areas-of-focus/vaccines/.

About Takeda

Takeda is focused on creating better health for people and a brighter future for the world. We aim to discover and deliver life-transforming treatments in our core therapeutic and business areas, including gastrointestinal and inflammation, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology, neuroscience and vaccines. Together with our partners, we aim to improve the patient experience and advance a new frontier of treatment options through our dynamic and diverse pipeline. As a leading values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, we are guided by our commitment to patients, our people and the planet. Our employees in approximately 80 countries and regions are driven by our purpose and are grounded in the values that have defined us for more than two centuries. For more information, visit www.takeda.com.

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Medical Information

This press release contains information about products that may not be available in all countries, or may be available under different trademarks, for different indications, in different dosages, or in different strengths. Nothing contained herein should be considered a solicitation, promotion or advertisement for any prescription drugs including the ones under development.


  1. WHO Technical Report Series No. 979, 2013 Annex 2. Guidelines on the quality, safety and efficacy of dengue tetravalent vaccines (live, attenuated). https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/biologicals/vaccine-standardization/dengue/trs-979-annex-2-dengue.pdf?sfvrsn=bd659777_2&download=trueGo to https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/biologicals/vaccine-standardization/dengue/trs-979-annex-2-dengue.pdf?sfvrsn=bd659777_2&download=true.

  2. Huang CY-H, et al. Genetic and phenotypic characterization of manufacturing seeds for tetravalent dengue vaccine (DENVax). PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013;7:e2243.

  3. Tricou, V, Sáez-Llorens X, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in children aged 2-17 years: a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trialGo to https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30556-0/fulltext. Lancet. 2020. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30556-0.

  4. Patel et al, Clinical Safety Experience of TAK-003 for Dengue Fever: A New Tetravalent Live Attenuated Vaccine Candidate. Clin Infect Dis. 2022 May 26;ciac418.

  5. Biswal S, et al. Efficacy of a tetravalent dengue vaccine in healthy children and adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2019; 2019;381:2009-2019.

  6. ClinicalTrials.Gov. Efficacy, Safety and Immunogenicity of Takeda’s Tetravalent Dengue Vaccine (TDV) in Healthy Children (TIDES). Go to https://classic.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02747927Retrieved July 2023.

  7. World Health Organization. Dengue and Severe Dengue.Go to https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue Published March 17, 2023.

  8. World Health Organization (WHO). Ten threats to global health in 2019.Go to https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019 Retrieved July 2023.

  9. CDC. About Dengue: What You Need to Know.Go to https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/about/index.html Published April 13, 2023.

  10. Guzman MG, et al. Dengue: a continuing global threat. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 2010;8:S7-S16.

  11. Reich, et al. Interactions between serotypes of dengue highlight epidemiological impact of cross-immunity. J R Soc Interface 10: 20130414. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0414Go to http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0414.

  12. World Health Organization. Vaccines and immunization.Go to https://www.who.int/health-topics/vaccines-and-immunization#tab=tab_1 October 2022. Retrieved July 2023.