Develop products that contribute to healthy diets and a super-aged society
Enroll a total of 500,000 participants into nutrition and healthy diet education within three years from FYE 3/2019 to FYE 3/2021
Consumers are going through lifestyle changes and diversifying health and nutritional needs. In response, we will leverage the strengths of our Food and Pharmaceuticals businesses and make use of our advanced expertise in the nutrition and pharmaceutical fields to offer new health value-added products.
We will develop new probiotics, focusing on lactobacillus, and expand our lineup of high cocoa-content chocolate products that offer healthy cocoa polyphenols.
We will discover original ingredients and develop new products that support healthy lifestyles through exercise and physical activity.
We will develop new products using healthy lactobacillus, cocoa polyphenols, and other healthy ingredients. We will develop new products that contain healthy ingredients to support healthy lifestyles.
Moreover, we will discover and supply products featuring reduced sugar, fat, calories, etc., to support the healthy needs of consumers.
■ Examples of Health-Conscious Products
・Products with Reduced Sugar, Fat, Calories, Etc.
■ Total Sales of Health-Conscious Products (Millions of yen)
Develop Products That Contribute to Healthy Diets : 20 items
Changes in lifestyles mean new and varied eating patterns. We intend to leverage Meiji’s nutrition design technology to develop total products (including volume, format, packaging, etc.) for the infant nutrition, sports nutrition, and medical nutrition fields.
Develop Varue-Added Nutrition Products : 45 items
Poor nutrition is an issue not only in emerging countries but also in developed countries. Currently, reduced protein intake is a problem in Japan. All generations are experiencing insufficient nutrition, for example, women who are dieting excessively and the elderly who are eating and exercising less. In fact, the average daily protein intake per person in Japan has fallen to that of the 1950s. For more than 65 years, we have been developing protein products and successfully expanding the value of protein through products such as infant formula, yogurt and sports supplements. Using that knowledge, we developed Meiji TANPACT, new products containing a good balance of essential amino acids that people consume in milk protein in their daily lives. We will continue to address poor nutrition by promoting the enjoyment of food and offering many Meiji TANPACT products. Consumers enjoy milk protein anytime and anywhere throughout the day.
Since first launching in Japan a vitamin B1 fortified infant formula in 1923, the Meiji Group has been committed to the infant and toddler nutrition business to promote their healthy growth. We are currently supporting health in babies and toddlers by focusing on Meiji Hohoemi, which can be used as a breast milk replacement for infants, and on Meiji Step, which helps provide suitable nutrition for toddlers up to age 3. In addition, we developed the world’ s first infant formula in cube form to help in the child rearing process. It is designed for anyone to prepare the baby formula easily even for late night feedings, so that everyone in the family can participate in child rearing. In March 2019, we also launched a formula in liquid form that can be stored and fed at room temperature and offers a long shelf life. This is not only convenient when feeding outside of the home but gives mothers peace of mind as an emergency supply in the event of a disaster or emergency situation.
We offer products that support, and promote the awareness of, healthy diets and food culture to support the healthy lifestyles of our customers.
Our education activities focus on three areas : Value and enjoyment of food, nutritional balance, and food-related safety and reassurance. We create opportunities for our customers to learn about and enjoy food, as well as to better understand the nutritional value and health benefits of different foods.
Since FYE March/2007, our nutrition and healthy diet education staff in five regions throughout Japan have visited local elementary and junior high schools to provide on-site classes. We also engage in community-based food and nutrition seminars for adults. We amplified these activities in FYE March/2018 by holding other classes (exercise, food, and nutrition classes; gargle and hand-washing classes; fun milk classes; and chocolate and cocoa classes).
We also sponsored an Olympic and Paralympic Games education program during FYE March/2018. Through experiences and lectures, participants learned the importance of sports and how physical training for sports contributes to improved health over the course of our entire lives.
We conduct food and nutrition education based on Basic Law on Shokuiku (food and nutrition education).
Nutrition and healthy diet education activities : FYE March 2020
Meiji Co., Ltd. plants include visitor centers that offer educational plant tours. Visitors can observe production processes firsthand, while learning about our commitment to food safety and reliability. These visitor centers also conduct fun and interactive classes. During FYE March/2019, more than 200,000 people visited one of our seven domestic food plants.
Three overseas plants (Meiji Ice Cream (Guang Zhou) Co., Ltd. (China), Meiji Dairies (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (China), and Meiji Seika Food Industry (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (China)) have been certified as centers for science and technology information, serving as proper models for the spread of science and technology information. More than 10,000 people visit one of these three plants annually.
Plant tours : FYE March 2020
We provide a foundation for using sports to support healthy development, to build strong bodies, and to develop strong minds through food and nutrition. At nutrition seminars, we disseminate information on sports nutrition, including information to promote an understanding of preferable food choices and the proper use of supplements. We partner with associations and federations to provide nutritional support toward developing future top athletes. Through sports nutrition, we will continue to support the next generation of promising, talented, and versatile young athletes and their coaches.
Sports Nutrition seminar : FYE March 2020
As a Gold Partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are working with athletes on a project to communicate the importance of nutrition to parents and their children. Participants exercise with athletes and find the importance of having a dream.
Furthermore, they attend nutrition education to learn the importance of nutrition. We held the Meiji Tokyo 2020 Fes event 11 times around Japan between 2017 and 2019.
Participants enjoyed playing sport and recognized the importance of food. Our nutritionists are supporting the Father-child Challenge Academy by giving nutrition education.
We will run the Meiji Dream Kids for Tokyo 2020 program during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is currently planned for 2021. The two-night, three-day tour includes nutrition education, watching Olympic/Paralympic game and special experiences that will create lifelong memories for the children.
We publish and present the results of research on milk, Lactobacillus, and cocoa (raw ingredients in our products) in white papers and at conferences. We explain healthy effects of milk, Lactobacillus, and cocoa to our customers through nutrition and healthy diet education and plant tours. We will continue to pursue our mission of educating the world about health and nutrition.
We provide milk product home delivery services straight to the consumer through our distributors. This service is very popular with consumers throughout Japan. The mission of our home delivery service is to be near the consumer, contributing every day to their health. Our home delivery service reaches 2.6 million families, growing through improved distribution and outreach to local dairy distributors.
Our distributor network includes distributors who face losing their business due to owner age or lack of a successor. Realizing the need to help businesses develop successors, we launched the Meiji Home Delivery Service Academy (training program for young leaders willing to take over businesses) and the Meiji Home Delivery Service Symposium (sharing examples of successfully run businesses) on an ongoing basis. We also sponsor the Milk Staff of the Year award to recognize outstanding distributor staff members. In these and other ways, we work to train and improve the skills of distributor personnel.
Develop products that contribute to a super-aged society
Through original research and nutritional design, we offer products for consumers to take in the nutrient content and energy they require.
We conduct product research and development related to malnutrition. One of our strengths is the unique nutrition engineering technology we have accumulated through many years of research on infant formula. We design the nutrition of food products for the elderly based on clinical nutrition research focused on this consumer segment. Moreover, we improve existing products to make them easier to handle and drink at home.
Develop products That contribute to a Super-Aged Society : 2 items
We have entered new research fields, including regenerative medicine and advanced medicine. We have started joint research in regenerative medicine with RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, and we have undertaken collaborative drug discovery research related to autoimmune diseases and cancer with the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation.
Japan has become a super-aged society, with more than a quarter of its population over the age of 65 years. While obesity and metabolic syndrome have attracted much attention, some elderly people suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition means having insufficient nutrition to be active due to inadequate intake of food and protein. The elderly suffer from malnutrition because they eat less, or because their diets lack variety. These habits stem from changes in living situations or from the weakening of bodily functions with age.
We conduct educational activities focused on malnutrition and malnutrition prevention. Our goal is for the elderly to avoid malnutrition and lead active daily lives. We hold seminars about malnutrition and malnutrition prevention, targeting healthcare professionals at in-home-care support centers, drug store employees, and the elderly. Specifically, we provide information about nutrition and meals recommended for the elderly. We also discuss the preparation of meals that are easier to eat for elderly people who have difficulty swallowing.
We publish information about malnutrition on our Japanese website.
Many people in developing countries and emerging economies suffer from nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition.
As a company in the food business, we want to help solve these issues, working with groups that encourage nutrition improvement to raise awareness about diet and nutrition through educational activities.
Over time, Japan has overcome its own historical malnutrition issues through school lunch programs and nutrition education policies. The private sector has contributed via food development and supply, offering excellent insights and good practices related to nutritional improvement. Japan has also worked to solve the diseases and illness arising from over-nutrition, including obesity, noncommunicable diseases, and micronutrient deficiency on a variety of levels. At the same time, people in developing and emerging countries face nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition. The severity and urgency of this issue is covered in the news globally.
The Government of Japan announced that it will lead public-private partnerships for nutrition improvement, amplifying global efforts to improve nutrition in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a health and medical care strategy formulated in 2014, the Japanese government set a goal to boost the international business initiatives based on public-private partnerships, as well as other activities aiming to improve nutrition in emerging and developing countries.
The Nutrition Japan Public Private Platform (NJPPP) was established in 2016 to achieve this goal. This platform aims to promote nutritional improvement through collaborations in the public and private sector, facilitating the business environment for food companies engaged in nutritional improvement activities in developing countries. The platform also advances initiatives targeting the creation of shared value beyond corporate social responsibility to expedite corporate growth and resolve current issues in society. Meiji Co., Ltd. joined the NJPPP in 2016.
One of the social issues that the world is currently facing, mainly in emerging countries, is maternal and child health. To address this issue, we have proposed a business plan to improve health among female factory workers in Vietnam. This business plan was selected as an SDG support enterprise by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). According to Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition, as many as 30% of female factory workers in the country have problems of malnutrition. Another serious issue is that accurate knowledge of nutrition is not available to the country’s citizens, including women of child-bearing age. Therefore, we are developing a nutrition improvement business model using MEI-LIFE, a nutritionally fortified milk. Its formulation is based on MEIJI MAMA, a milk product currently sold in Vietnam. Under this project, companies in Vietnam purchase MEI-LIFE for their female factory workers and we provide dietary education to improve their nutritional status. We started a survey to find out the nutritional status of local female factory workers in September 2019. The Meiji Group will continue such unique activities around the world to address nutritional issues using milk in emerging countries.
Our Pharmaceuticals business has developed an infrastructure to ensure a reliable, stable supply of drugs in Japan and throughout the world. The business has conducted a risk assessment, preparing a supply network capable of responding flexibly to any unforeseen circumstances.
We have optimized our production site allocations in Japan and overseas (Thailand, Indonesia, India, and China) to form a network ensuring the stable, and low-cost supply of drugs.
Due to the bulk drugs manufacturing problems at an overseas manufacturer, supplies of cefazolin were in difficulty in Japan. Additionally, supplies of substitute drugs were in short age. This resulted in unavoidable impacts on the treatment of infectious diseases in many medical institutions. From the perspective of appropriate use of drugs, medical institutions need a stable supply of essential antibiotics to properly treat infectious diseases. Thus, four associations* designated 10 antibiotics (injectable) as “Key Drugs” that are clinically important and for which stable supplies are essential. Meiji Seika Pharma is supplying five of those Key Drugs—PENICILLIN G, SULBACILLIN, TAZOPIPE, MEROPENEM and VANCOMYCIN.
KM Biologics Co., Ltd., has become a wholly owned consolidated subsidiary since July 2018. This company researches, develops, manufactures, and supplies an extensive range of human and veterinary vaccines, and blood plasma products.
Manufacturing Vaccines That Combat New Strain of Influenza Viruses
As a recipient of a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW)’s Influenza Vaccine Production Process Development Project, we are working to expand production capacity to accommodate the vaccination needs of 57 million people (almost half the population of Japan) in preparation for an influenza pandemic.
We have a number of single-supply products including habu (poisonous snake) antivenom, a hepatitis A vaccine, anthrax vaccines for animals, and a range of diagnostic agents.
Developing and Supplying Orphan Drugs*
We manufacture seven orphan drugs approved by the MHLW (as of July 2, 2018).
We collaborate with certain organizations to improve access to medicine in developing and emerging countries.
Medreich Limited is a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) conducting pharmaceutical-manufacturing business in India. The company manufactures generic drugs and sells them to markets worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Medreich plc is a sales company based on U.K. which sells pharmaceutical products manufactured in Medreich Limited mainly for EU market. Medreich plc supplies the antibiotic Amoxicillin to UNICEF. Medreich will continue to contribute to children’s access to medicine through UNICEF.
KM Biologics is developing a novel vaccine (KD-382) for dengue which is wider spread in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, including the developing nations. KD-382 is a live attenuated tetravalent dengue vaccine containing each live attenuated dengue virus for four dengue serotypes 1 to 4 (DENV1-4) as the active ingredient and is expected to provide preventive effect against dengue. KD-382 has shown good immunogenicity and protective efficacy for all four serotypes with a single dose administration in the non-clinical studies.
The Phase I clinical study was conducted to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the KD-382 vaccine in 60 healthy adults in Australia, which is a non-dengue endemic country, by administering the KD-382 vaccine subcutaneously once or twice with a 4-week interval. The results show that the KD-382 vaccine is safe and well-tolerated by healthy adults. Moreover, KD-382 showed 100% seroconversion at an early stage and elicited long-lasting and neutralizing antibody response for all 4 serotypes in most subjects over a 1-year follow-up, despite the single-dose administration.
Depending on the economic climate, public health system and access to pharmaceuticals throughout the world, patients can't always be administered the appropriate antibiotics for the right dosage and/or for the appropriate treatment period. This is one of the reasons for the emerging antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Asia and Africa in particular are more at risk to infections caused by drug-resistant bacterium, and more than 10 million fatalities are estimated to be caused by these infections in 2050. The Meiji Group will use our expertise to reinforce countermeasures to fight against drug-resistant bacteria and to address this social issue.
As one of the Meiji Group’ s initiatives, we are carrying out public awareness activities in collaboration with related organizations. We have joined the AMR Stewardship project sponsored by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and have created posters and video under the keyword Stop AMR. We have asked healthcare related organizations to put up our posters and show our video to help raise public awareness. We are also involved in other activities that help disseminate information on AMR to medical institutions.
The risk of infectious diseases caused by drug-resistant bacteria* is increasing globally partly due to inappropriate use of antibiotics. One such example is the infectious diseases caused by vancomycin-resistant bacteria. These infections have been increasing because vancomycin has been widely used to treat infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
To prevent the spreading of these drug-resistant bacteria, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), the Japan Antibiotics Research Association and pharmaceutical companies established the Vancomycin Study Group. Meiji Seika Pharma has worked as the organizer of the Association since it was established in 2002, leading many efforts to achieve appropriate use of vancomycin. Collaborating with relevant organizations, the Study Group continues to monitor drug quantities used in order to check and understand changes or any signs of increase in drug resistance. The Study Group reports survey results to the MHLW and provides that information to medical institutions.
In the pharmaceutical business, we are proceeding with research and development so that products can be delivered to patients as soon as possible. In addition, as a company involved in the field of infectious diseases, we will work on infectious disease countermeasures including prevention and drug resistance.
TKM Biologics is working with national research institutes*1 to rapidly develop an inactivated vaccine*2, leveraging the expertise acquired over the years of developing vaccines. After completing non-clinical studies, the company hopes to move to clinical studies as soon as in FY2020. We already have production facilities to manufacture and supply 57 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine in about six months. We consider utilizing these facilities to quickly supply sufficient quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine when it is ready. Meanwhile, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics have agreed to start discussions with AstraZeneca on achieving a stable domestic supply of the COVID-19 vaccine*3 that AstraZeneca is planning to introduce in Japan. According to the plan, AstraZeneca will supply the vaccine bulk, KM Biologics will undertake the further production, and Meiji Seika Pharma will handle the distribution and supply management.
Our competitive edge in R&D is attributed to our long experience and involvement in antibiotics research, and has earned us the deep trust from medical institutions. We have amassed a huge amount of data collected from drug sensitivity testing for resistant strains of bacteria, which medical institutions sent to us. We promote R&D based on the practical needs at hospitals, because we stay informed on the latest trends involving infectious diseases.
We dedicate more resources to R&D on β-lactamase (bacterial enzyme that breaks down antibiotics such as penicillin and induces drug resistance) in response to the growing needs of medical institutions for drugs counteracting resistant bacteria. We have successfully discovered nacubactam (development code : OP0595), which, in combination with β-lactam antibiotics, restores or extends their ability to treat bacterial infections caused by beta-lactamase producing antibiotic-resistant strains.
The Phase I clinical trials have been completed in the United States. At the same time, Meiji's β-lactamase inhibitor OP0595 project, entitled "Development of a novel β-lactamase inhibitor, OP0595, as a single drug utilizing a new rapid genetic diagnosis and non-clinical PK/PD theory" has been adopted by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) grant for Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE). The Phase I clinical trials are conducted in Japan.
We expect that this new candidate will combat AMR, and we shall continue to carry out our social responsibilities through revolutionary drug discovery.