Consumer Issues Research & Development

Basic Approach to Discovery Research

The Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma corporate philosophy is "to contribute to the healthier lives of people around the world through the creation of pharmaceuticals," and on that basis, we are working to continually discover new drugs that address unmet medical needs (medical needs for which there are no effective treatments or drugs).
To that end, we will advance "R&D process reforms" and conduct discovery research with a focus on "expansion of medical and discovery technologies." Specifically, we will step up the utilization of open innovation with academic institutions and venture companies in Japan and overseas. We will also advance collaboration within the MCHC Group. In these ways, we will strive to contribute to healthy lifespans by working with a sense of speed to discover the drugs of the future, which will aim not only at the treatment of disease but also at prevention, remission, and complete cures.

Refractory Disease Initiatives

ALS is an idiopathic, progressive disease in which the principal symptoms are muscular atrophy and muscle weakness. In Japan, it has been designated as a refractory disease by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. There are said to be about 20,000 ALS patients in the U.S., with ALS emerging in 5,000 to 6,000 people every year. However, there was only one type of ALS treatment agent in the world, and a new type of ALS treatment agent was eagerly awaited. In June 2015, the RADICUT BAG for IV Infusion 30mg (generic name: edaravone; Japan product name: Radicut) received approval in South Korea in December 2015 and from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2017, and was launched (U.S. product name: Radicava). We have also filed for approval in Canada in October 2018 and Switzerland in January 2019.
Currently, applications are being filed with China's State Food and Drug Administration (NMPA) (April 2019) and Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) (April 2019) so that we can deliver edaravone to as many patients around the world who are fighting ALS as possible.

Advancing Open Innovation

The environment for the discovery of new drugs is significantly changing, and the difficulty of discovery has increased year after year. In this type of environment, we are aggressively advancing open innovation to implement the sustained discovery of new drugs that have value for patients and on the medical front lines.
Advanced research in academia generates innovative ideas and discovery seeds, and we will strive to be the first to link those ideas and seeds to discovery research. In addition, by introducing themes and technologies from outside the Company, we are working to increase the speed of R&D activities.
We will work in collaboration with companies in the MCHC Group and utilize MP Healthcare Venture Management, an investment subsidiary, and Tanabe Research Laboratories U.S.A., Inc., an overseas research base. In this way, we will combine external R&D activities and our in-house core competencies in drug discovery and be the first to deliver original value to patients.

Main Alliance Partners (fiscal 2018)

Date announced Alliance details  
May 2018 Academia: 3
Pharmaceutical companies: 3
July 2018 Osaka University
October 2018 Astellas Pharma Inc.
Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited
October 2018 Pharma Foods International Corporation
December 2018 HitGen, Ltd
February 2019 MedImmune, Ltd
March 2019 Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)