Notice Regarding the Inclusion of Universal Antigen Vaccine Research into the Vaccine / New Modality Research and Development Project following a Public Solicitation by SCARDA

Suita— KOTAI Biotechnologies, Inc. (CEO, Kazuo Yamashita, hereafter referred to as KOTAI) today announced that the universal antigen vaccine research efforts by Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (hereafter “Shionogi”) has been adopted into the vaccine / new modality research and development project, as part of a public solicitation by the Advanced Research and Development Strategy Center (SCARDA)

SCARDA is established within the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) in March 2022. Based on the “Vaccine Development / Production System Strengthening Strategy” decided by the Cabinet in June 2021, it has been organized to strengthen the R&D / production system during normal times and to be ready in times of pandemic emergency. SCARDA will work with the government to strategically fund research toward the practical development of vaccines. Shionogi’s application was for “Universal Sarvecovirus Vaccine Research” as part of “Development of Vaccines for Severe Infectious Diseases”. This research and development efforts are focused on creating a universal Coronavirus antigen design technologies that are less susceptible to viral mutations, which was accepted as a research subject by SCARDA on June 29, 2022.

The coronavirus universal antigen vaccines are expected to help to prepare for future potential COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) mutations or new pandemics. Since September 2021, KOTAI have been working on universal antigen design research in collaboration with Shionogi. From now on, KOTAI will proceed this research in collaboration with Shionogi and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases to create universal coronavirus vaccines that selectively induce neutralizing antibodies against regions where viral mutations are less likely to occur. Such vaccines would be expected to be highly efficacious and safe and would not be easily affected by viral mutations.

KOTAI is a biotechnology company established in 2016 based on research achievements at Osaka University. As a group of experts in the bioinformatics and information/structure analysis technologies, KOTAI has conducted research and development collaboration with many research institutes, universities, and pharmaceutical companies, and so on. Please see the KOTAI website for details. KOTAI will work diligently to apply their proprietary technologies to SARS-CoV-2 and contribute to bringing the pandemic to a quick end.


Hiroyuki Shimizu