Moderna and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma have signed a joint agreement for the co-promotion of Moderna’s mRNA respiratory vaccines in Japan, including its Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax.

Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna will be responsible for the manufacturing, sales, medical education, and distribution of its mRNA respiratory vaccines.

Both companies will help enhance access to Moderna’s mRNA respiratory portfolio to have the maximum impact on public health in Japan, for an initial term ending 31 March 2029.

Moderna Japan president and representative director Kazumasa Nagayama said: “We are pleased to partner with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma to enable the commercialization of our Covid-19 vaccine and future mRNA respiratory vaccine portfolio to the people of Japan.

“Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has a significant heritage in Japan and has long contributed to public health through numerous vaccines and possesses extensive experience and deep knowledge in this area.

“We look forward to working together to provide our Covid-19 vaccine in Japan, given the virus continues to pose a significant threat to public health.”

Earlier this year, Moderna announced that mRNA-1283, its investigational next-generation Covid-19 vaccine, has met its primary efficacy endpoint in the Phase 3 clinical trial.

Its mRNA-1283 showed a non-inferior vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 in adults aged 18 years and above, compared to Spikevax (mRNA-1273).

In the study, mRNA-1283 was found to have a similar safety profile to Spikevax, with the most commonly solicited side effects including injection site pain, fatigue, headache and myalgia.

Moderna has recently announced positive results from a Phase 3 trial of its combination vaccine candidate against influenza and Covid-19, mRNA-1083, which includes mRNA-1283.

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma representative director Akihiro Tsujimura said: “Moderna has delivered COVID-19 vaccines to many people worldwide since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Moderna and engage in commercial activities for the Covid-19 vaccine and other mRNA respiratory vaccines in Japan. We will continue to contribute to public health in Japan through our vaccine business.”