For Children's Health and Happiness —Starting Point: The Antibiotics Business—
Clinical Reseach Planning
Meiji Seika Pharma Co.,Ltd.
In 1946, we began manufacturing penicillin. Since then, we have garnered trust in the infectious diseases field. Fermentation technology is used to produce penicillin. Fermentation is indispensable in the production of dairy products as well as chocolate, which involves cocoa bean fermentation. Mr. Makoto Takahashi explains, "We produced penicillin using fermentation technology for pharmaceuticals." Subsequently we established in-house technology during developing STREPTOMYCIN for tuberculosis treatment and Japan's first world-class antibacterial drug, KANAMYCIN. In 1994, we launched an oral cephalosporin antibacterial drug, MEIACT, which is widely used today. Inappropriate use of antibiotics leads to the development of drug resistant bacteria, which make antibiotics less effective. The development of antibiotics is a struggle against the emergence of resistant bacteria. We set up the Working Group for Penicillin-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae and started investigations and research in collaboration with healthcare professionals. The study revealed that acute otitis media (AOM) and sinusitis in children are becoming severe due to an increase in penicillin-resistant bacteria and that MEIACT shows good efficacy against AOM and sinusitis caused by resistant strains.
As a result of these initiatives, MEIACT has earned a strong reputation as the standard drug for common infectious diseases. Meanwhile, with the increase in penicillin-resistant bacteria, infectious diseases that are difficult to treat using oral agents are becoming more common. Accordingly we developed the world's only oral carbapenem antibacterial drug, ORAPENEM.
Management & Promotion
Meiji Seika Pharma Co.,Ltd.
Mr. Takahashi explains: "Generally, drugs for children are developed after approval for adults. For ORAPENEM, however, we got approval for pediatric use without approval for adults because many children suffer from difficult-to-treat infectious diseases caused by resistant bacteria. As the first such attempt, it was difficult." We were determined to tackle this challenge to help children suffering from infections as soon as possible. Mr. Nobutaka Aoyama continues, "ORAPENEM is like a trump card because it can treat diseases caused by resistant bacteria for which other antibiotics are ineffective. However, appropriate use is crucial to avoid developing ORAPENEM resistant bacteria." Patients with pneumonia or severe AOM require hospitalization. Avoiding hospitalization by using oral antibacterial drugs to treat such diseases before they become severe is beneficial to patients and their families. "Our mission is to inform healthcare professionals about the appropriate use of antibacterial drugs as well as about appropriate dosages and durations in cases where other drugs are ineffective and for high-risk patients. Therefore, we are providing information to pediatricians, otolaryngologists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals at medical institutions nationwide."
Mr. Aoyama adds, "We do not have the opportunity to meet patients or their families. We collect information on the status of antibiotic resistance from such healthcare professionals as doctors, pharmacists, and nurses as well as useful information on ORAPENEM, which we pass on to other healthcare professionals to encourage appropriate use. After launching a drug, our mission is to foster it properly."
Mr. Aoyama says, "We are one of Japan's respected pharmaceuticals companies in the infectious diseases field. We have earned the trust of healthcare professionals based on many years of effort in the infectious diseases field." Everyone, from children to the elderly, risks catching an infectious disease. As Japan's society ages, the number of elderly people contracting infectious diseases is expected to rise. "We will continue unstinting efforts to contribute to society in the infectious diseases field."
Further, Mr. Aoyama explains that resistant strains of bacteria are a worldwide problem affecting not only humans but also animals and the environment. "In addition to pharmaceuticals for humans, we manufacture and sell agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs. I believe our products can be useful in many different ways in Japan and overseas."
Mr. Takahashi sums up our mindset. "We developed ORAPENEM to meet society's needs. Specifically, we wanted to help healthcare professionals struggling to cope with children who are infected with the resistant bacteria. In every era, pharmaceuticals are indispensable to us. We will continue pharmaceutical research and development to discover novel drugs that meet society's needs." For patients suffering from diseases and for children's health and happiness, we will continue earnest efforts to grow the Pharmaceuticals segment.
Department of Infectious
Keio University School of
MEIACT and ORAPENEM are effective against the causative organisms of common bacterial infections and are indispensable in the pediatrics field.
A range of dosages range are approved for MEIACT. Therefore, doctors can adjust to suitable dosages based on patients' physical condition or the severity of symptoms. Being able to adjust in this way based on a range of dosages is important in medical treatment. ORAPENEM is an outstanding drug because it is the world's only oral carbapenem. In most cases, it is effective for moderate pneumonia in three days. As a result, the drug is a new treatment option for pneumonia. Patients with moderate or more severe symptoms—who used to require hospitalization—can be treated as outpatients. Doctors, patients, and their families are grateful. Recently, the development of drugs for infectious diseases has become harder due to stricter regulation of clinical trials. I am thankful to Meiji Seika Pharma for its continuing research and development and its high-quality production and stable supply capabilities. The company plays an important role in maintaining the health and happiness of children. I hope that it continues to benefit society in the infectious diseases field by providing medical institutions with information on the appropriate use of antibacterial drugs.