Shionogi & Co, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, announced Thursday that it has applied to the health ministry for approval of its coronavirus vaccine.
It was the first time a COVID-19 vaccination developed in Japan was used. Shionogi is seeking licence to manufacture and commercialise the recombinant protein-based vaccination just two days after the ministry granted emergency approval for its coronavirus oral medication Xocova, the first for a domestic drugmaker.
The vaccine, which is based in Osaka, is intended for use by adult COVID-19 patients in their first and third vaccinations, according to the manufacturer.
The recombinant protein-based preventive vaccine is the same type as a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax Inc and differs from messenger RNA vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc or Moderna Inc.
If approved, it may become an option for those who previously could not receive coronavirus vaccine shots due to allergies or other issues.
According to Shionogi, the new vaccine’s clinical trial for booster shot administration showed that the level of neutralizing antibodies, which help to block virus infection, in patients was around the same as those who have received Pfizer vaccines.
In its clinical trial for their first shots, the neutralizing antibody titer was seen to be statistically much greater than those inoculated with AstraZeneca Plc. vaccine, Shionogi said.
Its other Japanese rivals, including Daiichi Sankyo Co and KM Biologics Co, have also been trying to develop coronavirus vaccines.