Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda has reached a mutual agreement with Germany-based IDT Biologika (IDT) to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine, developed by its subsidiary Janssen.

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will use the IDT’s capacity, previously reserved for its dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003), to produce Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine was recently granted conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) by the European Commission (EC), and emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the US FDA.

The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) would return the capacity to Takeda after a period of three months.

IDT will help Takeda resume the manufacturing and planned commercialisation of its dengue vaccine after the current contract period, subject to regulatory approvals.

IDT Biologika CEO Jürgen Betzing said: “I am grateful to our longstanding customer Takeda for their flexibility, allowing us to help provide much-needed Covid-19 vaccines to the world.

“It has become abundantly clear over the past months that the challenges posed by the pandemic can only be solved by cooperation and commitment.

“I believe this short-term arrangement between three industry organisations demonstrates our sector’s willingness and ability to contribute to creatively solving this crisis.

“With our production for Janssen and AstraZeneca plus the development of our own Covid-19 vaccine in cooperation with the German Centre for Vaccine Research, DZIF, our company can make a major contribution to the fight against Covid-19.”

Takeda said that the agreement underlines its support towards Covid-19 vaccines and has partnered with Novavax and Moderna for rapid access to Covid-19 vaccines in Japan.

The company will be backed by a manufacturing technology transfer from Novavax and will undertake the development and commercialisation based on the manufacturing capacity of over 250 million doses.

Also, the pharmaceutical firm would import and distribute 50 million doses of Moderna’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, under a joint partnership with Moderna and the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW).

Takeda global vaccine business unit president Rajeev Venkayya said: “We are pleased to work with IDT to support Janssen’s efforts to make its Covid-19 vaccine available and accessible to as much of the world as possible.

“We also recognise the massive unmet need for a dengue vaccine and will work closely with IDT to mitigate the impact on the supply of TAK-003.”