Takeda Partners with Gates Foundation to See the End of Polio

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) has been recently awarded a grant valued at $38 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This partnership and funding is focused on the goal of eradicating polio globally.

PQMD Member Takeda intends to leverage its innovative vaccine manufacturing platform to develop and licenseTakeda a safe and effective Sabin-strain inactivated polio vaccine and make at least 50 million doses per year available at an affordable price for developing countries receiving GAVI support.

The effort is aligned with Takeda’s strategy to utilize innovation and partnerships to address critical unmet needs in global public health. As Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda said: “Takeda is honored to partner with the Gates Foundation to support the polio endgame. This represents a major commitment by a Japanese company to the health of children in developing countries around the world.”

Polio (poliomyelitis) is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.

As the Gates Foundation reports, immunization efforts have decreased the incidence of polio by 99 percent. Fewer than 100 cases were reported in 2015; the disease is still only endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, President of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit commented, “We’re excited about this partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the potential to reach hundreds of millions of children around the globe as part of the final push to eradicate polio.”