Takeda to build $106M vaccine plant for dengue vax push

Japan’s Takeda is making a big push with a vaccine for dengue and says to be prepared it will build a €100 million plant at its manufacturing site in Singen, Germany.

The drugmaker announced late Tuesday that construction will begin “immediately” on the $106 million project and is slated to be complete in 2019. Takeda declined to give details on the project but did say in an email that the site in Singen has 850 employees.

“Our colleagues in Singen have vast experience in lyophilisation technology, which is key for the manufacturing process of Takeda’s dengue vaccine finished product,” Thomas Wozniewski, Takeda’s global manufacturing & supply officer, said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the drugmaker begins a massive, 20,000-patient phase 3 study in Asia and Latin America of its dengue vaccine candidate. Global Dengue Program Medical Director Derek Wallace told FiercePharmaManufacturing that the company has had to build out its entire vaccine operation for this undertaking. He said that “in order to be a vaccine company with a global footprint,” it had to build a team with significant experience in vaccine development and manufacturing.

But the Japanese drugmaker sees a big need and so a potentially significant payout. It pointed out that according to the World Health Organization, dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-borne viral disease with an estimated 390 million infections and more than 20,000 deaths each year. If approved, it would take on Sanofi’s recently approved Dengvaxia, a vaccine the French drugmaker spent two decades developing.

Editor's Note: The story was updated with the number of employees who work at Takeda's Singen site.