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    MRNA   US60770K1079

MODERNA, INC.

(MRNA)
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Takeda eyes vaccine business growth as dengue, COVID-19 shots progress - CEO

09/13/2021 | 09:22pm EDT
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co's logo is seen at its new headquarters in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, which distributes Moderna Inc's COVID-19 shots in Japan, expects vaccines to become a bigger part of its portfolio as shots for dengue fever and COVID-19 near regulatory approval, its chief executive said.

Takeda, Japan's biggest drugmaker and among the top 10 globally after its 2019 takeover of Shire Plc, has traditionally been known more for its cancer and gastrointestinal treatments.

But vaccines have defined much of the company's activities during the coronavirus pandemic, as it worked to bring foreign-developed shots into Japan.

Vaccine production is a business that "when established, has a very long life," Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said in an interview broadcast at Reuters Events' Pharma Japan 2021 conference on Tuesday.

"There is no generic of vaccines, for example. So it's a different type of lifecycle, but it can be a very good business if you bring innovation," he added.

Takeda's dengue fever vaccine was submitted to European regulators in March, and the company said it planned to file for approval in several South American and Asian countries this year. Takeda has been working for almost 10 years on the shot, which is now in the "last stage," Weber said.

The company has imported some 50 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine into Japan and has a license to manufacture Novavax Inc's vaccine, which is still undergoing trials.

Japan's government has agreed to buy another 50 million Moderna shots, to be delivered next year, along with 150 million Novavax doses.

About 1.6 million Moderna doses were recalled in Japan this month after the discovery of small metal contaminants in some vials, a problem traced back to a production line in Spain.

Weber said such problems sometimes occur in pharma manufacturing, brushing off the suggestion it was caused by companies rushing to bring vaccines to market.

With some of its main sellers due to lose patent protection in the coming years, Takeda is betting heavily on a pipeline of more than 10 drugs in late-stage development. One of those, a blood cancer treatment known as Pevonedistat, fell out of the running this month after poor trial results.

"We don't rely on one product in our pipeline, or two, when we have 40 in clinical stage," Weber said.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Sam Holmes)

By Rocky Swift


ę Reuters 2021
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 20 335 M - -
Net income 2021 12 514 M - -
Net cash 2021 12 947 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 10,9x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 131 B 131 B -
EV / Sales 2021 5,80x
EV / Sales 2022 5,07x
Nbr of Employees 1 300
Free-Float 90,3%
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Number of Analysts 16
Last Close Price 324,21 $
Average target price 299,31 $
Spread / Average Target -7,68%
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StÚphane Bancel Chief Executive Officer & Director
Stephen Hoge President
David W. Meline Chief Financial Officer
Noubar B. Afeyan Chairman
Juan Andres Chief Technical Operations & Quality Officer
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