Fujifilm signs manufacturing contract with U.S. firm VLP for COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Fujifilm's company logo (top) is seen at its exhibition hall nearby the headquarters of Fujifilm Holdings Corp in Tokyo, Japan June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Fujifilm Holdings Corp 4901.T said on Thursday that it had signed a manufacturing contract agreement with U.S.-based firm VLP Therapeutics for a COVID-19 vaccine formulation.

Japan’s Fujifilm will use its manufacturing facilities and infrastructure to handle development of the vaccine for clinical trials, the two companies said in a statement.

VLP’s RNA-based vaccine candidate was selected for funding by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development.

The biotech firm has a Japanese subsidiary which is involved in drug research with government bodies and universities.

Fujifilm has been increasingly shifting into healthcare over the past decade from its traditional photography and office solutions businesses.

Last month, it concluded a successful Phase-3 clinical trial of its Avigan drug for use in COVID-19 patients.

A Fujifilm unit is also involved in making ingredients for Novavax Inc's NVAX.O coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Himani Sarkar