Therapeutic areas

Globally, Otsuka is passionate about developing and delivering medicines and devices in areas with unmet medical needs. We aim to help people with diseases that range from those affecting millions to those that affect relatively few.

Our global tuberculosis (TB) program

HISTORY OF NEW DRUG DISCOVERY

  • Otsuka’s drug discovery research began in 1971 with only 14 scientists who had the idea of addressing the world’s unmet medical needs by investing in therapeutic areas that were underserved by other pharmaceutical companies.
  • The corporate philosophy, “Otsuka: People creating new products for better health worldwide,” embodies the company’s dedication to creating unique and innovative products, improving health and well-being, and contributing to the everyday lives of patients.

OTSUKA’S GLOBAL TB PROGRAM

  • Otsuka has been involved in efforts to find new tuberculosis (TB) drugs for over 40 years. The company’s global TB franchise includes new drugs, diagnostic tools, pediatric innovations and public health programs that provide a comprehensive approach to fighting back against TB.
  • Otsuka is the largest private funder of TB drug development in the world.1
  • In 2002, in-house scientists discovered a novel nitroimidazole compound, which is currently under Phase III testing for the treatment of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
  • Otsuka initiated the largest MDR-TB clinical trial ever conducted which includes the development of site infrastructure inn countries affected by the disease.
  • The goal of these efforts is to improve MDR-TB treatment regimens with responsible access to new compounds.
  • Otsuka has chosen to invest in MDR-TB research because of the urgent unmet medical need in Asia and around the world:
    − Increasing rates of resistance to first-line anti-TB treatments
    − 480,000 new cases of MDR-TB and 190,000 deaths per year2
    − Long treatment duration (18-24 months)
    − Poor treatment of TB can lead to extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB)

PUBLIC HEALTH & CASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

  • Otsuka is also committed to developing public health and case management models that aim to reduce the spread of drug resistance, improve rational use of new TB drugs and prevent— not just treat—TB.
  • Currently, the company is supporting further research into treatment shortening, treatment optimising and less toxic regimens.
  • Collaboration with partners, including international organisations, public health authorities, advocacy groups, and local NGOs, among others, is crucial to the success of these programs.

COMMITMENT TO FIGHTING TB IN CHILDREN

  • Otsuka is also working towards an innovative MDR-TB treatment for children, which is a neglected population of an already neglected disease.
  • Treating TB in children is challenging given difficulty in diagnosis, under-reporting of cases, and lack of child-friendly formulations.
  • The company is developing the first novel children’s formulation for MDR-TB and a Pediatric Investigation Plan (PIP) is already underway.

GLOBAL TB BURDEN2

  • In 2014, 9.6 million people became sick, and 1.5 million people died from TB, including 390,000 deaths among HIV-positive people.
  • In 2014, more than half of the estimated MDR-TB cases among notified pulmonary TB cases was concentrated in three countries:
    − India with 71,000 cases
    − China with 51,200 cases
    − The Russian Federation with 39,000 cases
  • People living with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to develop active TB.3

otsuka-tuberculosis-map

The above map provides further insights to MDR-TB distribution among new TB cases globally.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Marc Destito, Communications Director
E-mail: mdestito@otsuka.ch

REFERENCES

  1. Treatment Action Group (TAG) 2015 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2014: A Decade of Data.
    http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/tbrd2015 (Accessed December 2015)
  2. World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Report 2015.
    http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/gtbr15_main_text.pdf (Accessed December 2015)
  3. World Health Organization (WHO) Tuberculosis Fact Sheet No 104 Updated October 2015.
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/ (Accessed December 2015)

SOURCE: WHO GLOBAL TUBERCULOSIS REPORT 2015