CAMBRIDGE —  Moderna Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced that the first participant has been dosed in the Phase 1/2 study of Moderna’s vaccine candidate against COVID-19 (mRNA-1273 or TAK-919) in Japan, led by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (NYSE: TAK). TAK-919 is Takeda’s development code for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

“We are pleased that this Phase 1/2 study of our COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults in Japan has begun. This is the first clinical trial of a Moderna product in Japan and we thank Takeda for partnering with us to potentially protect the Japanese population from COVID-19 with a vaccine,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. 

This placebo-controlled Phase 1/2 study will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of two vaccinations of mRNA-1273 given 28 days apart. Takeda intends to enroll 200 participants aged 20 years and above in Japan. Each participant will be assigned to receive a placebo or a 100 μg dose at both vaccinations. Participants will be followed through 12 months after the second vaccination. The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier is NCT04677660. 

Takeda and Moderna previously announced that Takeda will import and distribute 50 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate starting in the first half of 2021, pending licensure in Japan. (report by Business Wire)