Otsuka Extends MOU with South Korea for Pharma R&D

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., which in 2009 became the first Japanese company to complete a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea for a cooperative relationship in pharmaceutical product research and development, signed a five-year extension of the MOU at a ceremony on February 28, 2014.

Otsuka, in accordance with the MOU, has engaged in a wide range of capital expenditures for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, including investment in research and development of approximately 99 billion Korean won ($92.4 million) over a period of five years. This has included advancement of innovative pharmaceutical product development through cooperation with local medical institutions led by the company's local subsidiary, Korea Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., as well as the arrangement of production facilities for investigational drugs. Starting in 2010, Otsuka conducted a human resource development program for pharmaceutical research and development between Japan and South Korea, dispatching instructors, and inviting 29 pharmacy students from South Korea for training at Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s facilities in Japan.

On the occasion of the signing ceremony, held at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an appraisal was made of efforts over the past five years. With the goals to advance the development of pharmaceutical products, facilitate production systems to ensure reliable supplies, and contribute to the further development of human resources, both parties agreed to renew the MOU.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical believes that South Korea is a vital hub in Asia for the advancement of the pharmaceutical industry and so has conducted development of anti-cancer drugs and a drug for the treatment of Tourette syndrome in South Korea through the Korea Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company. With respect to Tourette syndrome, Otsuka was the first company to do pediatric clinical studies, and in November 2011, Abilify  was approved to treat this syndrome. The MOU has four key points:

* Committed investment level will remain unchanged.
* An expansion in the scope of investment targets in pharmaceutical product research in cooperation with Korean medical institutions, from early-stage to late-stage clinical studies. Priority areas include cancer, central nervous system disorders, and respiratory illnesses.
* Provision of clinical study drugs through Korea Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s factories and production and supply systems. *
* Planning of human resource development programs and dispatch of instructors, as well as training of pharmacy students at Otsuka Pharmaceutical facilities.

Source: Otsuka Pharmaceutical

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