See the full story with photos at
Mr. Bob Oliver, president & CEO of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., (OAPI), served as the keynote speaker and honoree at the 3rd Annual Top Blacks in Healthcare Awards Gala held in spring this year in Baltimore.
The Gala, hosted by BlackDoctor.org, a leading online health destination for African Americans, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, is held each year to honor and recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to health and medicine.
"BlackDoctor.org's Top Blacks in Healthcare is a very important event in the Black community because it gives us a chance to recognize African-Americans who have achieved a high level of success and understand the importance of reaching back to serve as positive role models for others,” said Mr. Reggie Ware, CEO, BlackDoctor.org.
One person who couldn’t agree more was Mr. Oliver’s son, who greeted his father with a hug as he left the stage and whispered, “Dad, you did awesome!” And the audience agreed.
Mr. Oliver, who has worked at OAPI since 2010 said, “I am honored to be a part of such an esteemed group working collectively to address healthcare disparity in America - a growing and costly problem that has surpassed US $30 billion in preventable cost per year. We must solve together. I am equally proud of Otsuka - people who embrace diversity, hire and develop talent, and strive earnestly every day to create healthier communities around the world.”
During his tenure at OAPI, Mr. Oliver and his teams have been instrumental in introducing a diverse portfolio of marketed products, and helping to guide the development of pipeline products, across the neuroscience, oncology, and medical device markets. Mr. Oliver is also passionate about education, and served as chairman of the board for Eastern University Charter Academy School in the state of Pennsylvania, ensuring educational opportunities are provided to at-risk children.
Read the original article with photos at:
The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology awarded Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. two commendations for Science and Technology in Tokyo, Japan.
One of the prizes for Science and Technology, in the Development Category, was for the research and development of delamanid. It is an effective treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The other prize was for the development of tolvaptan, an antagonist of the vasopressin V2 receptor.
The commendations were presented in late spring in a ceremony held in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.
Each year, 9.6 million people are newly infected by tuberculosis (TB). Of these cases, 480,000 patients develop multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). And in that group, 22% develop extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). There have been no new anti-TB drugs developed since the introduction of rifampicin over forty years ago.
Senior director of the Pharmaceutical Business Division, Mr. Makoto Matsumoto, Ph.D., said, “Delamanid was approved as a new drug for the first time in approximately 40 years. However, many besides those being awarded this time contributed their efforts and cooperation during the approval process, which took over 20 years.”
He continued to thank, “all those who were involved from the discovery and development of delamanid to the approval of the drug. Otsuka will continue its efforts to increase the number of patients using the drug, and will continue contributing to tuberculosis treatment worldwide.”
Delamanid was approved in Japan, Europe, and Korea in 2014. The commendation was awarded to delamanid for its contribution to the medical care of TB, by addressing the pressing need for new effective treatments to the increasing occurrence of MDR-TB.
A doctor looking for a drug that helped his patients excrete only water unlike other diuretics inspired Otsuka Pharmaceutical to start researching for an agent to do just that.
It was discovered that this vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist may hinder the proliferation and enlargement of the cysts in the hereditary disease Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).
Otsuka subsequently played a pivotal role in the clinical development of tolvaptan for ADPKD, and it is presently the only treatment option known to delay the long-term progression of ADPKD.
“I heard that this award commemorates ‘people’ who make achievements, and I am deeply moved by the fact that my life’s work involving the discovery and development of tolvaptan, which I spent 30 years on, has been recognized,” said Mr. Yoshitaka Yamamura, senior director of the Pharmaceutical Business Division.
“The ‘rugged’ drug discovery we started from scratch is now contributing to patients daily, and I am sincerely proud of that fact. I hope that new drug discoveries will be made for drugs that ‘originate in Tokushima and are the world’s first’.”
The commendation was awarded to tolvaptan for its contribution to the medical fields of heart failure and liver cirrhosis, as an agent with a new mode of action of water diuresis, as well as the only treatment option known to delay the long-term progression of ADPKD.
Read the full article with photos at
Otsuka and the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF) announced a worldwide access plan for delamanid, one of only two medications approved to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the last 40 years.
The GDF is the largest supplier of quality assured TB treatments in the public sector, which gives it a unique position to catalyse uptake and expedite access to patients living in countries where TB medications are urgently needed. Launched in 2001 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the GDF was created out of a need to build an efficient system of procurement and distribution of high-quality TB drugs. Apart from procurement, the GDF provides a unique package of services, including technical assistance in TB treatment management and monitoring of TB drug use.
This innovative partnership with Otsuka opens access to over 100 low- and middle-income countries that are eligible for financing through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and that follow WHO guidelines for the proper management of MDR-TB. As part of this partnership, GDF will also include delamanid in their Strategic Rotating Stockpile to ensure treatments get to people in need as quickly as possible. Apart from establishing a formalized partnership that ensures the supply of delamanid, Otsuka and GDF will work together to support communities with education, training, technical assistance, and TB advocacy activities.
Access to a reliable supply of high quality drugs is of great importance, as patients can develop TB drug resistance as a result of poor quality drugs and unreliable supply channels. Widespread drug resistance complicates and lengthens treatment, and as the disease is airborne just like other types of TB, it poses a major public health risk. Nearly half a million people each year develop MDR-TB and of those diagnosed and enrolled in treatment, only 50% are successfully treated.
This partnership is a key component of Otsuka’s wider strategy called the “FightTBack” initiative to scale up programmatic use of delamanid and fight TB through innovative R&D, ensuring responsible access to patients, optimizing patient management, and collaborative capacity building.
In line with its philosophy of addressing unmet medical needs, Otsuka is currently testing the first-ever pediatric MDR-TB formulation. Otsuka is continuing its research into innovative ways to fight TB, including development of mobile health technology for patients to receive treatment reminders on their smart phones and involvement in multiple research partnerships looking at shorter, more efficient and more patient-friendly ways to fight MDR-TB.