Social Needs and Kaneka’s Plan
Supporting wellness by combining food and medicine in the era of 100-year lives
The era of 100-year lives is said to come in the near future. The key to living a productive life depends on wellness, which forms the basis of all activities. While the population is aging in Japan and the world, the use of big data is becoming more common, and AI and robot technologies are rapidly evolving. In this situation, the healthcare-related business environment is undergoing significant changes, having an enormous impact on social needs. There are expectations for the progress of advanced medical treatment and extended healthy life expectancies, while it is imperative to curb medical expenses.
Under these circumstances, we have contributed to people’s wellness mainly in therapeutic areas, offering pharmaceutical bulk and intermediates and endovascular therapy catheters. We aim to further contribute to people’s healthy lives by offering innovative solutions for medical treatment and disease prevention and prognosis through a unified approach to food and medicine with a focus on chemistry.
Kaneka Group’s Efforts
Promoting sustainable dairy farming to create high-value-added dairy products
A good diet is one of the means for people to maintain and improve their health. We aim to contribute to wellness by offering food eaten on a daily basis, including dairy products.
However, Japan’s dairy farming faces a difficult environment due to the lack of successors and labor, and accelerated retirement from farming. We are promoting sustainable dairy farming, considering attractive dairy farming together with dairy farmers, as our business development philosophy.
Based on our food production support activities, we help increase productivity in dairy farming and improve the farming work environment.
To ensure that dairy products gain a high reputation in the market, it is essential to develop high-quality products, pursuing good taste. Accordingly, in January 2018, we established a technical tie-up with Pur Natur Invest BVBA (“Pur Natur”), a Belgian company marketing its organic dairy products in European countries with high technical capabilities. By integrating high-quality raw milk from Hokkaido with Pur Natur’s unique manufacturing method, we will offer high-quality and delicious milk to meet the growing need for organic products.
Kaneka’s ideal model for circular dairy farming management
Power of lactic acid bacteria with much potential
Lactic acid bacteria have been drawing attention for their effects on growth and the immune system as well as new effects to allergic symptoms and infectious diseases. The market size of health food using lactic acid bacteria exceeds $2 billion in North America. In Japan, market demand is expected to rise higher than ever.
In March 2018, we acquired AB-Biotics, S. A. (“ABB”), a Spanish company specializing in lactic acid bacteria, concluding a license agreement that grants us exclusive rights for production and sales of ABB’s products in North America (U.S. and Canada) and Japan. ABB possesses advanced R&D capability, with more than 550 original probiotics* strains from human healthy intestinal samples. ABB sells a wide range of clinically documented probiotics products, which improve the intestinal environment and have clear effects to decrease the risk of cardiovascular, periodontal and infectious diseases, to health food and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.
Meanwhile, we have been expanding our functional food business globally, including the marketing of reduced coenzyme Q10 (Kaneka QH) and other functional food materials fully supported by evidence data regarding their safety and beneficial effects to humans.
Capitalizing on the two companies’ strengths, we will further exploit the potential of lactic acid bacteria to bring benefits to our lives.
* Probiotics: Live microbial community and foods containing live microbial community, giving beneficial effects to the human body by improving the intestinal environment and controlling intestinal function and the immune system
Milk for Bread
Lactic acid bacteria
Contributing to QOL improvement in patients from the disease prevention to the prognosis stage
While working on disease prevention through wellness promotion, we are expanding the scope of our contribution by offering various solutions to cover patients at the prognosis stage after treatment.
In the case of mastectomy due to breast cancer, most patients undergo breast reconstruction to relieve their emotional distress and inconvenience.
In our technology for regenerative medicine and cell therapy, adipose-derived stem cells, which are separated from fat sucked out of a patient’s abdominal or femoral region, are mixed with the extracted fat again and are injected into the patient by syringe. This method attains a higher retention rate of fat than conventional fat transfer. It is also expected to safely reconstruct breasts closely to their former shapes because it uses the patient’s own stem cells. It can also tremendously reduce the amount of collected adipose-derived stem cells by culturing them using our unique technology.
We believe that our technology not only reduces the physical burden of treatment, but also enables patients to resume a normal life after treatment, ensuring a high QOL.
Support from the disease prevention to the prognosis stage
Aiming to expand food- and wellness-related businesses
For the dairy products business, we plan to bring yogurt and other dairy products to the market. In addition, the construction of a full-fledged dairy products manufacturing factory in Hokkaido is under consideration, aiming to achieve net sales of 20 billion yen in five years’ time.
Considering that organic dairy farming is ideal for circular dairy farming management, we will work to expand the domestic organic dairy products market in cooperation with a Belgian dairy farmer group and domestic related research institutes.
For the lactic acid business, we aim to accomplish sales of 10 billion yen in five years’ time by gradually launching products combining ABB’s probiotics products with our functional food materials and dairy products in developing markets.
For the entire healthcare business, we aggressively incorporate advanced technologies while strengthening resource allocation in the life science field, pursuing themes with speed and scale. In 2017, to significantly expand our biopharmaceutical production capacity, we made capital investment of approximately 5 billion yen in Kaneka Eurogentec S.A., our group company, aiming to increase its production capacity four-fold by 2020.
Thus, we will pursue our businesses from multiple angles to ensure that people live healthy and fulfilling lives.