(Reuters) – Moderna Inc said on Friday it was in talks with the Japanese government to potentially deliver 40 million or more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, would be distributed in Japan by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, starting in the first half of 2021, if it receives regulatory approval.
The news comes as the country strives to gain access to enough doses of the vaccine to inoculate four times its population, as it prepares to host a delayed Summer Olympics next year.
Japan has already signed deals with other drugmakers such as Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca PLC, as well as local deals like Shionogi & Co., to obtain 521 million doses of five different coronavirus vaccines in 2021. for a population of 126 million inhabitants.
Moderna is one of the world’s leading contenders in the race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus, with mRNA-1273 already in testing in humans.
Report by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Edited by Ramakrishnan M.
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