Kaneka strengthens efforts to manufacture COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate

–Contract manufacturing of INOVIO’s DNA vaccine–

Kaneka Corporation
December 4, 2020
Kaneka Eurogentec S.A. (Headquarters: Liège, Belgium; President: Lieven Janssens), an affiliate of Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Minoru Tanaka), signed an agreement with INOVIO Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Headquarters: Pennsylvania, US; President: J. Joseph Kim; referred to below as “INOVIO”) to manufacture COVID-19 DNA vaccine*1 candidate, INO-4800.

INOVIO is a biotechnology company focused on rapidly bringing to market DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases and cancer, and is developing COVID-19 vaccine candidate, INO-4800, using plasmid DNA*2 as a drug substance.  INOVIO has received clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) *3 to proceed with the Phase 2 segment of its planned Phase 2/3 clinical trial for INO-4800, which will be supported financially by the U.S. Department of Defense.  INOVIO is putting in place a global consortium to manufacture INO-4800 with the goal of producing hundreds of millions of INO-4800 doses for worldwide distribution.  Kaneka Eurogentec has joined to the INOVIO’s global consortium to manufacture large-scale of the INO-4800 drug substance in their GMP manufacturing facility using their world-class technology in plasmid DNA.

Kaneka has launched the “Infection Research Team” for promoting research and development of measures against infection such as COVID-19.  KANEKA is taking a wide range of countermeasures to provide solutions for COVID-19 crisis, including the manufacturing mRNA*4 and plasmid DNA as drug substance of vaccines, the supplying of drug substance for “Avigan®”, and the supplying of PCR reagents and test kits.  Kaneka will continue to utilize its own technologies to provide the solutions necessary for infection control measures.
  1. A vaccine whereby introducing into the body plasmid DNA encoded with proteins from a part of the targeted pathogens (without using any dangerous pathogens), the proteins are produced within the body, giving immunity against said pathogens.
  2. A general term for circular DNA molecules that exist outside the nucleus of bacteria such as E. coli and yeast, and that are passed down to daughter cells through cell division. It is conventionally used in processes for producing biopharmaceuticals such as therapeutic proteins and has been applied to genetic medicines and vaccines in recent years.
  3. A governmental organization of the US in charge of approval or conformity control of products which consumers have contact within daily life, such as food or medicine in addition to cosmetics, clinical instrument, animal drug or toy.
  4. An RNA molecule that is transcribed genetic information of protein synthesis from DNA. It is expected to be used as vaccines and therapeutics.

<General description of Kaneka Eurogentec S.A.>

Liège, Belgium
Lieven Janssens
Description of business
Manufacturing and sales of proteins, nucleic acids and peptides for medicinal, diagnostic and basic research uses
31 million euros

< General description of INOVIO Pharmaceuticals Inc.>

Pennsylvania, US
J. Joseph Kim
Description of business
Discovery, development, and commercialization of DNA medicines for infectious diseases and cancer


The offices of Kaneka Eurogentec
Production facility