United Nations agency PAHO in early negotiations with Takeda over dengue vaccine pricing: director

As Takeda’s dengue vaccine Qdenga remains on the FDA’s desk with a priority review designation, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is engaged in early talks on pricing.

At a press briefing this week, PAHO’s director Jarbas Barbosa touted the vaccine’s “very impressive data.” PAHO has begun initial negotiations with Takeda and wants to “retain an affordable price to offer these vaccines” to countries that need them, he added.

PAHO is an international health agency that works with its 35 member states to set health priorities, respond to emergencies and strengthen health systems, especially in response to communicable and non-communicable diseases that cross borders. It also serves as the World Health Organization’s regional office of the Americas.  

If countries with a “very big population” such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina “come together” to purchase the vaccines through PAHO’s fund, negotiations can likely deliver a “more affordable price,” Barbosa said.

Meanwhile, Takeda is awaiting vaccine guidance from the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine advisors. If positive, that guidance would bolster the vaccine's global rollout.

Since its first approval in Indonesia last August, Qdenga has been on a steady roll, picking up nods in Brazil and a crucial greenlight in Europe. Takeda has already divulged early pricing strategies in private and public endemic markets, plus the travel market.

The company believes the vaccine will create “significant” cost savings for governments by helping to offset other expenses including healthcare costs, missed work and lost tourism income.

Dengue has appeared in more than 125 countries and is one of the top causes of child hospitalizations in many regions. Takeda aims to launch in more than 25 countries by 2025 and estimates its vaccine can reach peak sales of $2 billion.

It’s already expanding its manufacturing capacity for the shot and is aiming to produce 100 million doses per year.