Sports are good for the body, mind and spirit. Participating in sports boosts self-esteem, team-work and leadership skills, and provides a channel for young people to relieve stress. Five years ago, the Korean Ministry of Education launched an initiative to encourage sports club activities in schools. In support of this initiative, Donga Otsuka, an Otsuka affiliate and manufacturer of POCARI SWEAT for the Korean market, launched a tournament intended to help young people learn the twin values of sports, through playing futsal, and mental strength, to be a hero.
On May 28, 2017, the fourth annual “FUTSAL HEROES” finals tournament was held in Seoul, South Korea. The competition saw the fourteen teams that had qualified in the preliminary rounds held in Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu and Busan compete in the finals. The finals took place at the Korea Media Center in Seoul, and drew large crowds of supporters and well-wishers to enthusiastically cheer the teams on.
This year’s winning team, Banpo Middle School from Seoul, celebrate their second consecutive win of the tournament. Speaking about the competition, one student said, “In normal life, we get a lot of stress with studying. But, participating in the futsal competition was an experience. We had a great time in preparing for the games and it was fun to take part with my friends. We are so happy to win this year again!”
Four years ago, the first tournament was held between 128 middle schools in the Korean capital of Seoul. From these beginnings, the tournament has grown year on year to include more schools from across the country. Last year, middle schools from Busan were added, and this year the tournament was expanded to include schools from Daejeon and Daegu. In the past four years, futsal teams from approximately 600 schools, totaling about seven thousand young people, have participated so far. In 2018, "FUTSAL HEROES" will be held in six major cities in South Korea.
This year also marks the 30th year since POCARI SWEAT was launched in South Korea. Donga Otsuka in participation with education departments and schools, holds briefing sessions to students on the importance of hydration. POCARI SWEAT is available in 20 countries and regions across Asia and the Middle East. It is the organizers’ hope that the tournament will expand to include teams from other Asian countries as well. Their big dream is that in the future school teams will represent their nations in an international tournament. Going forward, Otsuka Pharmaceutical and its affiliates will continue to support sports at all levels and their contribution to health to all ages.
See the full story with pictures at https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/company/globalnews/detail.php?id=240&date=2017-04-22
On April 22, 2017, the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation honored Otsuka Pharmaceutical for our long-standing and successful commitment to develop an innovative, first-in-class drug treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and for its collaboration with the foundation.
“Working together with basic science funded by PKD Foundation and the research and development capabilities of Otsuka, tolvaptan has become the first drug approved in Japan, Canada and the European Union, hopefully this landmark drug will soon become available in the United States as well for the treatment of ADPKD. The Foundation applauds the unwavering commitment of Otsuka to bring this important new therapy to the marketplace. It is for this persistence and recognition of the unmet medical need of PKD patients in the US and worldwide that the PKD Foundation has honored Otsuka at its Gratitude dinner in San Francisco this spring”, said Andy Betts, the chief executive of the PKD Foundation.
Yoshitaka Yamamura, a researcher at Otsuka’s Tokushima Research Institute who pursued research on the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin for decades, and Frank Czerwiec, vice president of Global Clinical Development at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., who was deeply influential in initiating and steering the global development of tolvaptan for ADPKD, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
For over 20 years, Otsuka has pursued developing a treatment for ADPKD – a condition that causes cysts to proliferate in the kidneys and often results in end stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. During this period, the PKD Foundation has worked side-by-side with us as advocates for disease state awareness. In addition, they have been instrumental in recruitment of participants in clinical trials and helping advance the compound through the regulatory process.
“Otsuka's purpose starts with addressing patient problems,” said Dr. Czerwiec. “In the case of ADPKD, we have built upon research initiated by highly motivated researchers inside and outside the company. In this sense, ours is a symbiotic relationship where we each achieve our goal faster through collaborative research.”
Mr. Yamamura and Dr. Czerwiec, on behalf of the company, are humbled to see Otsuka honored at this year’s Gratitude Benefit. “To share in recognition that is given to physicians and patients who fight this disease is a great honor,” Dr. Czerwiec said.
See the full story with pictures at https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/company/globalnews/detail.php?id=239&date=2017-03-24
On World TB Day, March 24th 2017, Otsuka Pharmaceutical in cooperation with South Africa’s Ministry of Health and a non-governmental organization called Right to Care, officially launched DCAP, a clinical access program for delamanid (DeltybaTM), a medicine developed by Otsuka for the treatment of pulmonary multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
The event, organized by South Africa’s Ministry of Health and the National TB Programme, took place at the Sizwe Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. About 150 government officials, healthcare workers, TB experts, civil society representatives, and other dignitaries gathered to mark this occasion. During the ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Shigeyuki Hiroki, emphasized that delamanid is an example of Japanese contributions to strengthening public health in Africa, and presented a box of delamanid to Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s Minister of Health.
Dr. Motsoaledi, a global champion in the fight against TB, delivered the keynote address highlighting that delamanid will be initially made available to children (ages 12-18), HIV co-infected people, and TB patients with diabetes. “We are very happy because these are key populations suffering from TB. We thank Otsuka, as they are providing us this drug, and it will be given to patients in regions with the biggest TB burden in the country”, said Dr. Motsoaledi, adding, “This day marks an important milestone in South Africa’s response to the TB epidemic.”
South Africa has one of the highest burdens of TB and HIV in the world. The two diseases are strongly interlinked, with 35% of deaths from HIV being caused by TB. Unlike HIV, TB is fully curable -- as long as there are effective medicines. However, many South Africans are infected with TB bacteria that are resistant to the first-line anti-TB therapies, which pose a grave public health emergency. In 2015, over 20,000 people were diagnosed with drug-resistant TB. Through this access programme, Otsuka aims to provide an additional treatment option for some of these difficult to treat patients. The experiences from this programme will help provide programmatic evidence on how delamanid can be effectively implemented within South Africa.
Working with committed partners, Otsuka is balancing two priorities: the need for urgent access and for antimicrobial stewardship necessary to prevent the emergence of further drug resistance. In this way, Otsuka is delivering innovative solutions to address unmet medical needs.
Every year since 2000, Astex employees and their families have taken part in the Light The Night of East Bay event in Walnut Creek in Northern California to raise much needed funds and awareness to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS, founded in 1949, is the largest voluntary organization in the US dedicated to research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatment for blood cancer patients. In 1964 the survival rate for childhood leukemia was just 3%, now thanks in part to research, funding, and better support for patients from the society the survival rate is 91%. Since its inception, the society has contributed over $1billion towards improving the lives and outcomes for blood cancer patients.
Light The Night draws nearly one million participants over the year to join one of LLS’s 160+ evening events across the US. Participants walk the course holding illuminated lanterns in three colours: white lanterns are carried by patients and survivors; red lanterns by supporters; gold by participants who are walking in memory of a loved one. In speaking about Light The Night, the East Bay Campaign Director for LLS, Andrea Orozco said, “When LLS walks, cancer runs”.
Last year, Astex employees raised $44,393 for LLS through fund raising events and the Astex
corporate match program. 57 employees from Team Astex and their family members joined the event to raise awareness for blood cancers. To date, Astex and its employees have contributed in excess of $465,000 to LLS activities such as Light The Night, Patient Assistance Programs, and educational events and grants. In addition, an Astex employee has served on the local board or was a member of the LLS organizing committee for the past 15 years.
In recognition of their efforts, executives and staff members of Astex received awards from the society, including one for being the top corporate fundraising team and one for the most money raised by an individual. To Astex these activities are more than about raising money for the society, as the President and Chief Medical Officer of Astex, Mohammad Azab explains, “Every employee at Astex is deeply committed to the search for a cure to blood cancers and we are proud to support the mission of the LLS in improving the lives of patients and their families”.
Otsuka affiliate Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company is committed to the fight against cancer as well as disorders of the central nervous system. Find out more about Astex at www.astx.com
See the full story with pictures at https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/company/globalnews/
Otsuka Group member Nutrition & Santé, a leading manufacturer of dietetic products including slimming and sports foods, won the 2017 Inaugural Grand Prix Award from the French National Association of Food Industries (ANIA) and EY *1 at an award ceremony held on January 18th.
The prize rewards French food industry companies for their growth in France or overseas, for job creation, and for their commitment to social responsibility initiatives. Nutrition & Santé was selected from a shortlist of 17 companies by an independent jury.
For almost half a century, Nutrition & Santé has developed, produced and sold healthy and tasty food products to consumers in France and in over 40 countries across the globe. The company maintains around thirty brands in segments such as dietetics *2, organic and alternative foods *3, slimming nutrition *4, and sports nutrition *5.
The award recognizes Nutrition & Santé’s achievements in growth (an increase of 16% from the previous year), in expanding sales overseas, and their commitment to sustainable and ethical business practices such as complying to international standards, procuring raw materials and reducing waste. The award also recognized efforts in innovation, such as meat analogue products that have the same taste, texture, and shape as meat.
Speaking on accepting the award, Nutrition & Santé CEO Didier Suberbielle said, “We are very proud to receive this prize, which rewards the growth made by the company over the past few years, and in particular in 2016 with the acquisition of Bicentury. We regularly hire new employees. Over the last 5 years, our French workforce has grown by 20%, and we now employ more than 1000 people and 1800 worldwide. Since 2010 we officially committed in a CSR policy and consider it to be a strong axis for the future ... be profitable, human and sustainable, that is our company vision.”
For more information on Nutrition & Santé, visit https://www.nutritionetsante.com/en/
*1 EY= Ernst & Young Global Limited
*2 Brands Gerblé / Céréal, Allergo, Valpiform
*3 Brands Céréal Bio, Soy, Céréalpes, Natursoy, Plant Steakhouse *4 Brands Gerlinéa, Milical, Modifast, Pesoforma, Bicentury
*5 Brand Isostar