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Kaneka Eurogentec to make COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Japan’s Kaneka based at Liège, Belgium, has signed an agreement to make the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a US biotech, at commercial scale in its GMP facility. Financial terms were not disclosed.

INO-4800 uses plasmid DNA as a drug substance and has just received US FDA clearance to move to the second part of its Phase II-III clinical trials. These trials have financial support from the US Department of Defense.

In October, Kaneka and Kaneka Eurogentec signed a research collaboration agreement with the De Duve biomedical research institute in Brussels to strengthen its CDMO business for biomedicines and vaccines against viral infections. The institute, based in Brussels and named after the 1974 Nobel Medicine Prize winner Dr Christian de Duve, is part of the University of Louvain. It has expertise in microbial technologies, which will complement Kaneka’s in the microbial production of biomedicines like proteins and plasmid DNA.  

This all follows on from the creation of Kaneka’s Infection Research Team to carry out R&D into COVID-19 treatment.  As well as plasmid DNA, Kaneka makes mRNA and the drug substance for Avigan, and supplies PCR reagents and test kits.

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