TOKYO: Japanese biopharmaceutical firm Anges Inc said on Tuesday (Mar 24) 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 per cent in morning trade in Tokyo, compared with a 5.3 per cent 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 Mar 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.