Updated on 11 October 2012
Moreover, South Korea is now starting to develop capabilities in the biosimilars business. On the other hand, Singapore has attracted several research divisions of the world's leading antibody developers and has established a position as the R&D hub in Asia. Strengths in manufacturing functions in biopharmaceuticals would be a key factor to win the competition in this area.
In terms of challenges, individual countries, on their own, have limitations. Thus, cooperation among the countries in the Asian region is important to create antibodies that originate from Asia. For example, Japan has capabilities in basic research in developing and creating innovative drugs. Singapore and South Korea have manufacturing capabilities and other Asian countries have improved its clinical development capabilities in the past few years. Therefore, if these strengths are combined, we will gain more capabilities to generate antibodies in this region.
Chugai's strategy is to pursue innovation to create new antibodies utilizing new technology. Thus, we established Chugai Pharmabody Research to generate new antibody candidates with the potential to reach the global markets from the support from Singapore and Chugai.
The pipeline for innovative drugs is drying? Does this give you an edge in the industry as an innovator?
It is true that the industry is seeing fewer breakthroughs in discovery of new drugs amidst increase in R&D expenditure. But we think that we are on the verge of discovering new technologies. For example, second generation antibody technology or new iPS technology are now in developmental stages, and it could potentially be a few more years before we can use them practically for medical treatment. As soon as the development stages are complete, we expect they will feed the pipeline. The drying up of innovative drugs is perhaps just a temporary phenomenon.