TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) has established Otsuka SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to serve as the company's central operations for developing and implementing public health policies and corporate social responsibility programs in connection with its global tuberculosis (TB) program. The new organization is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The company has appointed Patrizia Carlevaro, Ph.D., a seasoned global health advocate and well-recognized leader in the TB community, as managing director of Otsuka SA. Under Dr. Carlevaro's leadership, the new subsidiary will focus on strengthening the company's commitment and capabilities to support the unmet medical needs of TB patients, particularly in underserved nations.
"At Otsuka, we strive every day to utilize our unique assets and skills to develop innovative and creative products which contribute to healthy lives for people worldwide. The establishment of Otsuka SA is a natural extension of this commitment, and enables our company to partner with others working toward the elimination of TB," said Dr. Taro Iwamoto, President, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. "We are proud to have Dr. Carlevaro, a recognized advocate and leader in global health, as part of our team as we shape our approach to serving communities in need around the world."
The company's commitment to TB began over 30 years ago. Since then, the company has committed a vast amount of investments to TB research and development, including support for clinical development infrastructure in countries most affected by the disease.
"Otsuka has a strong commitment to improving the health of patients globally and has taken tremendous steps to address the critical situation of TB through its research investment. I am excited and proud to lead Otsuka's efforts in this new endeavor, and I am committed to building upon the company's great work," said Dr. Carlevaro.
For the past 16 years, Dr. Carlevaro, as head of the International Aid Unit at Lilly, and a key figure in the establishment and management of the company's MDR-TB Partnership, has worked extensively with public and private organizations. She brings a comprehensive range of resources, expertise and services to the fight against global health issues including TB. In that capacity, Dr. Carlevaro developed long-standing relationships with international institutions committed to global health and has served on a number of technical and scientific committees with the United Nations' (UN) World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to joining Lilly, she was head of the Essential Drugs Unit at the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in New York City. Dr. Carlevaro's expertise and knowledge will be a valuable asset as the company expands its commitment to improving the lives of those affected by TB and other global health issues.
Otsuka's Commitment to Tuberculosis
Otsuka is recognized as the top private funder of TB research and drug development.1 Over the course of nearly three decades, Otsuka scientists have synthesized and screened numerous potential TB compounds. The company achieved a breakthrough in 2002, discovering a novel compound, which is currently in Phase IIb testing for the treatment of multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB).
According to the WHO, more than nine million active cases of TB develop and nearly two million lives are claimed each year, mostly in developing countries. The situation is further intensified by the high rate of TB and HIV co-infection, and the growing transmission of drug-resistant strains. Today it is estimated that nearly five percent of new TB cases are multidrug resistant.
About Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
Founded in 1964, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: 'Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.' Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and consumer products for the maintenance of everyday health. Otsuka is committed to being a corporation that creates global value, adhering to the high ethical standards required of a company involved in human health and life, maintaining a dynamic corporate culture, and working in harmony with local communities and the natural environment.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., the holding company for the Otsuka Group. The Otsuka Group has business operations in 23 countries and regions around the world, with consolidated sales of ¥1,090.2 billion for fiscal year 2010.
1 Treatment Action Group (TAG) and Stop TB Partnership. 2010 Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, 2005-2009