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Otsuka Pharmaceutical tackles leukemia and other blood cancers

Cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of all diseases worldwide. In Japan too it is the number one cause of death, and naturally, there is an urgent need for new drugs. In 1983 Otsuka established the Fujii Memorial Research Institute (originally the Biwako Research Institute), and has been engaged in anti-cancer drug research ever since, aspiring to help cancer patients worldwide. Today, we are providing new treatment options, especially for those suffering from blood cancers.

In 2008, Otsuka Pharmaceutical acquired the entire business built around the only drug for the conditioning regimen prior to hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and rolled out the business globally. As a pre-treatment prior to hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation carried out as a part of treatment for all forms of blood cancer, this drug is contributing to patients as a necessary drug that ranks alongside radiation therapy. In 2010, we entered an alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb in Japan, the US, and Europe to co-promote a therapeutic drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Otsuka Pharmaceutical further strengthened its R&D structure in the field of oncology by welcoming the US-based bio-venture company Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as a partner and subsidiary. Astex possesses proprietary molecular design-based drug discovery technology. Together, the two companies are carrying out innovative new drug discovery using a novel approach.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical aims to contribute to the field of oncology in both diagnosis and treatment, providing not only therapeutic drugs but also diagnostic pharmaceuticals. It has developed and markets products used in the monitoring of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Also, it has been marketing in Japan an international-standard in-vitro diagnostic reagent that can be used as a diagnostic aid and to monitor treatment effects in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Going forward, we will contribute to malignant hematopoietic disease through our diagnostic reagents business.

Global affiliates & collaborators

Therapeutic areas

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Cardiovascular and Renal areas

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