DENKA press release: Phase I Clinical Study to Develop a Norovirus Vaccine Commenced in Belgium

Sep­tem­ber 23, 2020

Den­ka Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed

Den­ka Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed (head­quar­ters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; pres­i­dent: Man­abu Yamamo­to; here­inafter, “Den­ka”) announces that Icon Genet­ics GmbH (head­quar­ters: Halle, Sach­sen-Anhalt, Ger­many; CEO: Kazuyu­ki Hiru­ta, here­inafter, ”Icon Genet­ics”, web­site: ), a group com­pa­ny of Den­ka, began a Phase I study for clin­i­cal devel­op­ment of a norovirus vac­cine in Bel­gium.


The clin­i­cal tri­al aims to assess the safe­ty and immuno­genic­i­ty of the norovirus vac­cine that Icon Genet­ics is devel­op­ing through admin­is­tra­tion to healthy adults. Icon Genet­ics filed a noti­fi­ca­tion of its clin­i­cal tri­al plan in Europe this Feb­ru­ary. With the approval of the Bel­gian health author­i­ties, they will con­duct the clin­i­cal tri­al at the vac­ci­na­tion cen­ter of Ghent Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal in Bel­gium.


Cur­rent­ly, the Den­ka Group is pro­mot­ing R&D regard­ing raw mate­ri­als and oth­er items used for the norovirus vac­cine and test reagents using its mag­nI­CON®* tech­nol­o­gy plat­form under the lead­er­ship of Icon Genet­ics. The Group obtained an approx­i­mate­ly 50,000 m2 land at the Wein­berg Cam­pus Tech­nol­o­gy Park near Icon Genet­ics in Halle this March for the con­struc­tion of a core R&D and man­u­fac­tur­ing hub to respond to the advance­ment of the R&D.


Posi­tion­ing the health­care busi­ness as one of the three impor­tant fields in its Den­ka Val­ue-Up man­age­ment plan, the Den­ka Group dis­trib­utes prod­ucts to fight infec­tion, includ­ing influen­za vac­cines and quick anti­gen diag­nos­tic kits for the COVID-19 and oth­er virus­es. The Group will proac­tive­ly sup­port Icon Genetics’s R&D and pro­mote the devel­op­ment of a vac­cine for the norovirus for which effec­tive pro­phy­lax­es or ther­a­pies have not yet been estab­lished to con­tribute to the improve­ment of people’s QOL.



About mag­nI­CON®

mag­nI­CON® is a tran­sient gene expres­sion sys­tem using plants to pro­duce tar­get pro­teins effi­cient­ly.

A gene encod­ing tar­get pro­tein is insert­ed into a plant viral vec­tor (*) that is intend­ed to deliv­er the gene to host plant’s pro­tein pro­duc­tion mech­a­nisms, and then the vec­tor is intro­duced into Agrobac­teri­um tume­fa­ciens (bac­te­ria that infect plants). After cul­ti­vat­ing the vec­tor-car­ry­ing bac­te­ria and prepar­ing a solu­tion con­tain­ing the bac­te­ria, a host plant is immersed in the bac­te­ria-con­tain­ing solu­tion and is allowed to be infect­ed with the bac­te­ria. Then, the infect­ed plant is incu­bat­ed to pro­duce the desired pro­tein. mag­nI­CON® improves remark­ably the effi­cien­cy of pro­duc­ing tar­get pro­teins using host plant mech­a­nisms by incor­po­rat­ing the het­erol­o­gous genes encod­ing the pro­teins in a plant viral vec­tor.

* Vec­tor: A container/vehicle that can deliv­er a gene of the desired pro­tein to be expressed in a host cell


・” Accel­er­at­ing Research & Devel­op­ment of a Norovirus Vac­cine  Pur­chas­ing Land for R&D Site in Ger­many and Apply­ing for Phase I Clin­i­cal Tri­al in Europe”, March 12, 2020


About Den­ka:

Den­ka is a chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­er head­quar­tered in Chuo-ku, Tokyo. The com­pa­ny spe­cial­izes in devel­op­ing busi­ness activ­i­ties on a glob­al scale across a wide range of fields, from inor­gan­ic and organ­ic chem­i­cals, to elec­tron­ic mate­ri­als and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Found­ed in 1915, Den­ka has steadi­ly con­tin­ued to devel­op and man­u­fac­ture prod­ucts that con­tribute to the devel­op­ment of soci­ety by ful­ly uti­liz­ing its unique con­cepts and tech­no­log­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties. Uphold­ing its cor­po­rate slo­gan, “Pos­si­bil­i­ty of chem­istry,” the com­pa­ny and its pres­i­dent, Man­abu Yamamo­to, are com­mit­ted to con­tribut­ing to the sound devel­op­ment of soci­ety while sin­cere­ly tack­ling the chal­lenges that soci­ety is now con­fronting.


[For inquiries about this press release]

Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Dept .                       Tel: +81 3 5290 5511

Orig­i­nal link (2020–09-23)