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Takeda closing in on COVID

Staff Written News

By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor 

Scientists and medical professionals around the world are scrambling to create a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has infected over 4.8 million people across the world and claimed the lives of 319,000. The Takeda plant in Stanton Springs Industrial Park, which Morgan County helped create, is on the cusp of developing a new treatment, hoping to begin clinical trials in July.  Takeda is a global biopharmaceutical company based out of Japan that took control of the Shire/Baxter plant built in Stanton Springs. 

Georgia State Representative Dave Belton praised Takeda’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus plaguing the world. 

“Great News! Our own Takeda, located in between Covington, Madison, and Social Circle, is on the front line of treating the COVID virus,” said Belton. “They are testing their product even as we speak!”

According to Takeda CEO Christophe Weber, a clinical trial could begin as soon as July out of the Stanton Springs plant that will use antibodies from  the blood of recovered coronavirus patients to treat those currently infected with the coronavirus. According to Weber, Takeda has collected enough plasma to begin the clinical trial already. 

According to Takeda, the trial would utilize hundreds of patients and take several months to complete. According to Julie Kim, president of the plasma-derived therapies unit of Takeda, if the clinical trial is successful, Takeda could apply for approval from United States before 2020 is over. 

According to Weber, Takeda is collaborating with nine other companies to develop plasma-based therapies to treat COVID-19. The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance also includes Biotest AG, CSL Behring, and Octapharma Plasma, among others.

 According to Takeda, “the proposed treatment offers a standardized dose of antibodies. It also has a much longer shelf life than unprocessed blood plasma and doesn’t need to be limited to patients with matching blood types.”

Takeda said last week it has joined with nine other companies that work on blood plasma-based therapies to develop a treatment for Covid-19 patients. The CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance also includes Biotest AG, CSL Behring, and Octapharma Plasma, among others. 

“We saw that it would be better to pool our resources…we could not have done it so fast alone,” said Weber.

Takeda also noted that the pharmaceutical giant is working with the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) on the clinical trial “that would give all the companies in its partnership the ability to produce the treatment, which will not have standard drug industry patent protections because it uses existing technology.”

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