TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese biopharmaceutical firm Anges Inc said on Tuesday that it and Osaka University had completed development of a DNA vaccine against the new coronavirus and that it would begin testing it in animals soon.
Shares of Anges surged as much as 17% in morning trade in Tokyo, compared with a 5.3% gain in the broader market.
Anges, a drug-discovery company launched out of Osaka University, announced its collaboration with the school on a coronavirus vaccine on March 5. DNA vaccines are produced using an inactivated virus and can manufactured faster than protein based vaccines, according to the company statement.
Takara Bio Co is in charge of production of the vaccine and Daicel Corp’s gene-transfer technology is also being utilized, the statement said. Global pharma companies are racing to develop vaccines and treatments for coronavirus, which has reached 350,000 cases globally and resulted in over 15,000 deaths.
In Japan, market leader Takeda Pharmaceutical Co is working on a plasma-derived therapy, while the active ingredient in Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s Avigan anti-flu drug is being tested as a treatment in China. [nL4N2BG4MK]
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Rocky Swift; Editing by Kim Coghill)