Asian Scientist (Jan. 21, 2014) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited has announced an agreement with the Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University (BIKEN) to sell BIKEN’s chickenpox vaccine in Japan. Based on this agreement, Takeda will commence the sale of BIKEN’s freeze-dried live attenuated varicella vaccine in February 2014.
Varicella, commonly known as chickenpox, is an infectious disease caused by the highly contagious varicella-zoster virus. Approximately 80% of children are infected with the virus by the age of five and approximately 250,000 people are reported to be infected with the virus each year.
The varicella vaccine has been given mainly to children as a voluntary vaccination in Japan since the late 1980s. The BIKEN varicella vaccine has been shown to be effective, generating a protective immune response in 90% of individuals after a single dose. It is also well tolerated and has shown high effectiveness in preventing chickenpox.
“Takeda has designated vaccines as one of its priorities. I am delighted that this partnership will allow us to increase our contribution to prevention of infectious diseases in Japan,” said Dr Masato Iwasaki, Director of Takeda and Senior Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Marketing Division.
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