Updated on 11 October 2012
Chugai has created the first antibody drug generated in Japan, Actemra, which is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. It was first launched in Japan in 2005 for Castleman's disease and then for rheumatoid arthritis in 2008. It is now approved in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Based on our experience in biopharmaceutical field since 1980s, Chugai created the "recycling" and "sweeping" antibody engineering technologies. These technologies are expected to enable targeting of new diseases that were impossible to treat with the conventional antibody.
Also, there is personalized healthcare. This will be one of the core strategies that can maximize the value of our products. The personalized healthcare approach will enable patients to have access to the best treatment available, enable physicians and healthcare providers to achieve maximum benefit and minimum side effects from a treatment, enable payers to use healthcare budgets efficiently, and enable regulators and policy makers to achieve increased efficacy and safety.
We are partnering with the Roche Group's diagnostics division to develop diagnostics that screen for specific molecules, which will be utilized as companion diagnostics.
What kind of potential do you see for Asia in the development of antibodies?
When considering venturing into the antibody business, we have to take into account manufacturing as it is a very important aspect. Countries such as Singapore and South Korea have established manufacturing capabilities by accumulating such technologies in this area. This is a key step to approach antibody development.