On April 22, 2017, the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation honored Otsuka Pharmaceutical for our long-standing and successful commitment to develop an innovative, first-in-class drug treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and for its collaboration with the foundation.
"Working together with basic science funded by PKD Foundation and the research and development capabilities of Otsuka, tolvaptan has become the first drug approved in Japan, Canada and the European Union, hopefully this landmark drug will soon become available in the United States as well for the treatment of ADPKD. The Foundation applauds the unwavering commitment of Otsuka to bring this important new therapy to the marketplace. It is for this persistence and recognition of the unmet medical need of PKD patients in the US and worldwide that the PKD Foundation has honored Otsuka at its Gratitude dinner in San Francisco this spring", said Andy Betts, the chief executive of the PKD Foundation.
Yoshitaka Yamamura, a researcher at Otsuka's Tokushima Research Institute who pursued research on the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin for decades, and Frank Czerwiec, vice president of Global Clinical Development at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., who was deeply influential in initiating and steering the global development of tolvaptan for ADPKD, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
For over 20 years, Otsuka has pursued developing a treatment for ADPKD - a condition that causes cysts to proliferate in the kidneys and often results in end stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. During this period, the PKD Foundation has worked side-by-side with us as advocates for disease state awareness. In addition, they have been instrumental in recruitment of participants in clinical trials and helping advance the compound through the regulatory process.
"Otsuka's purpose starts with addressing patient problems," said Dr. Czerwiec. "In the case of ADPKD, we have built upon research initiated by highly motivated researchers inside and outside the company. In this sense, ours is a symbiotic relationship where we each achieve our goal faster through collaborative research."
Mr. Yamamura and Dr. Czerwiec, on behalf of the company, are humbled to see Otsuka honored at this year's Gratitude Benefit. "To share in recognition that is given to physicians and patients who fight this disease is a great honor," Dr. Czerwiec said.