Meiji Holdings Unit to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine

Economy Science Technology

Kumamoto, May 25 (Jiji Press)--KM Biologics Co., a unit of Japanese food and pharmaceuticals group Meiji Holdings Co. <2269>, said Monday that it will work on developing a vaccine for the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

KM Biologics, based in the southwestern Japan city of Kumamoto, will start a clinical trial with human patients as early as April 2021, the company said at a press conference in the city.

The company will lead the project, to be undertaken jointly with three organizations, including the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Utilizing cell-culturing technologies to produce vaccines for Japanese encephalitis, the project members will aim to develop an inactivated vaccine, which is safer than a live vaccine.

KM Biologics, which took over the drug production business of the Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute, or Kaketsuken, has a capacity for producing vaccines against the new influenza for 57 million people, or half the Japanese population, in half a year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press