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COVID vaccines

Japan pharma cranks up output of COVID vaccine materials

Global supplies shortage and dependence on West spell urgency, opportunity

Takara Bio looks to put new reagents for mRNA vaccines on the market this fall. (Photo courtesy of Takara Bio)

TOKYO -- Japanese pharmaceutical and medical material makers are expanding domestic output of ingredients and production materials for vaccines in response to a creeping shortage of supplies globally.

Western manufacturers control nearly the entire market for vaccine active ingredients and production materials. When it comes to vaccine production, "Japan is dependent on Western makers," said Osamu Nagayama, who serves as president of the Japan Bioindustry Association and honorary chairman of Chugai Pharmaceutical.

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