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)
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.
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.
Nutrition and healthy diet education activities：FYE March 2018
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/2018, more than 205,000 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. Nearly 10,000 people visit one of these three plants annually.
Plant tours：FYE March 2018
Meiji Ice Cream (Guang Zhou) Co., Ltd. : 7,263 participants
Meiji Seika Food Industry (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. : 3,403 participants
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 2018
* Sports Nutrition Seminar: Seminars offering information gained through nutrition support provided to junior athletes, student athletes, and runners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
■ Supply Patients with KANAMYCIN Through Stop TB Partnership
We are helping improve access to pharmaceuticals in emerging countries by supplying the antituberculous drug KANAMYCIN. Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 10 million tuberculous patients per year in the world, and 5% or 500,000 of those patient have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. KANAMYCIN is effective against multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We have been supplying approximately 140,000 patients with KANAMYCIN through a United Nations project called the Stop TB partnership since 2011. The goal of this project is to bring an end to this global epidemic. To achieve this, the project plans to improve access to pharmaceuticals in remote areas of Asia and Africa. We are also working to obtain data by 2020 to show that KANAMYCIN can be stored for more than 5 years, even in hot and humid conditions. We shall continue to provide a stable supply of high quality pharmaceuticals to help stop tuberculous.
■ Medreich Contributes to Medicine Access Through UNICEF
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 for Dengue
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 ingredients 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. KM Biologics is conducting the Phase I clinical trials.
Since the development of penicillin in Japan in 1946, our Pharmaceuticals segment has been involved in development, manufacturing, and sales of drugs against infectious diseases, mainly through the sale of ethical pharmaceuticals.
In addition to antibiotics for bacterial pathogen of infectious diseases, we have an extensive lineup of products ranging from prevention, diagnosis to treatment, including vaccines to prevent infectious diseases, antiseptics, and diagnostic test kits. We also provide information to the healthcare professionals and educate medical institutions about proper usage.
Due to a recent rise in microbes resistant to conventional antibiotics, the international community has been confronted with a major concern on how to counteract antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We have been researching and developing antibiotics for many years, and we are committed to finding a solution to counteract AMR.
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.