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Japan takes different track than US on COVID-19 antibody treatments

Takeda alliance focuses on therapy derived from patients' blood

A researcher holds a test tube of antibodies: Regeneron and Eli Lilly are among the companies developing coronavirus treatments.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- With antibody treatments seen as the best weapon against COVID-19, Japan and the country's top drugmaker have turned to a type derived from the plasma of recovered patients, rather than the lab-made varieties used on U.S. President Donald Trump.

An alliance of companies and health organizations, including Takeda Pharmaceutical is working on an immunoglobulin-based coronavirus treatment, and a Phase 3 clinical trial began in October across multiple countries. Results may become available before the end of the year.

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