Today, with the global population at over seven billion and life expectancy rising and birth rates declining not only in developed countries, but also in emerging countries, the world faces issues related to a rapidly aging population. The entire international community must find ways to provide healthcare that helps patients lead healthy, independent lives and ways to deliver high-quality medical care that reduces the burden on both patients and medical staff.
Recognizing that innovation is essential to solving these social issues, Toray introduced its Life Innovation Business Expansion Project in fiscal 2014. This project aims to apply the Group’s technologies and business platforms to addressing social issues in the medical and healthcare field. The Life Innovation business was developed to help improve the quality of medical care, reduce the burden on medical staff, and contribute to health maintenance and longevity. The Toray Group selects important products and services for Life Innovation and is developing these businesses group-wide.
Product Definitions and Guidelines
Improving the quality of medical care and reducing burden on medical staff
- Products used in medical treatment: Pharmaceuticals, therapeutic devices, materials/components related to preparation of therapeutic agents
- Products used in medical testing and diagnosis: Testing devices and diagnostic systems
- Supplies for hospitals: Functional, special-grade products
- Other: Analysis services, manufacturing equipment/facilities
Contributing to health maintenance and longevity
- Products that improve quality of life for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and patients
- Products that prevent diseases and disorders
- Nursing care products
Note: Includes materials and components used in the above products
The Toray Group’s net sales from the Life Innovation business grew from 142.2 billion yen in fiscal 2014 to 156.9 billion yen in fiscal 2015. The Group has set a target of securing net sales of 170 billion yen by fiscal 2016.
Sales of Life Innovation Businesses (Toray Group)
Fiscal 2015 Highlights
Additional Indication for Pruritus Treatment REMITCH™ Capsules, Product Promotion Underway
In May 2015, Toray received approval of a new indication for REMITCH™ Capsules 2.5µg for improvement of pruritus in chronic liver disease patients. The approval of the new indication is expected to provide new treatment options for patients suffering from this disease.
- Note: REMITCH™ is a registered trademark of Torii Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
Development of a Nucleic Acid Drug for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
In December 2015, Toray acquired development, manufacturing and sales rights (excluding manufacturing rights of the active pharmaceutical ingredient) for the nucleic acid drug (BNC-1021/TRK-250) developed by BONAC Corporation, and at the same time accepted BONAC’s new shares issued in third-party allocation. This drug is expected to treat patients diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which causes difficulty breathing and is registered as an intractable disease by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Nucleic acid pharmaceuticals are agents that act by utilizing the action of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) and may function as a new type of medication with fewer side effects. When commercialized, this drug is expected to be administered directly to the lungs with an inhaler, which will carry the agent efficiently to the target organ.
Development of an Antiadhesive Material Based on Nano-Scale Polymer Thin Film Technology
In February 2016, Toray began joint development with Nanotheta Co., Ltd of a novel antiadhesive material that employs a nano-scale polymer thin film based on polylactic acid based polymer and can be used in intra-abdominal surgeries. The material is as easy to handle as gauze and is expected to function as an effective antiadhesive by acting as a protective film to prevent post-surgery adhesion.
Full-Scale Marketing of New Hemodialysis Machine
In March 2016, Toray Medical Co., Ltd. launched general sales of the TR-3300S single-patient dialysis machine.
Most dialysis facilities employ systems that combine a dialysis monitor and single-patient dialysis machines. Using these new dialysis machines in combination with the TR-3300M dialysis monitor already on the market, automated dialysis without the need for physiological saline solution can be offered in almost all dialysis centers.
Operation procedure and disposable parts for the TR-3300S are standardized to other Toray dialysis systems to prevent human error such as machine operation error or blood tubing setup mistakes.