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Research and development activities

【Group’s Activities in the 79th Business Year】
Today, there is demand for exporting technology from Japan as part of government’s policy of “cultivating medical treatment, pharmaceutical products and medical devices as a strategic industry which is a pillar of revitalizing the Japanese economy.” Amidst these conditions, the Company recognizes development of globally competitive products as a task of utmost importance, strives to keep a close watch on market trends, and is always engaged in product development focusing on reinforcement and enrichment of the present major product groups as well as strengthening of our proprietary technologies and R&D capabilities.
In regards to genetic screening reagents, the Loopamp Tuberculosis Complex Detecting Regent Kit and Loopamp PURE DNA Extraction Kit, which were jointly developed with FIND as tuberculosis detecting reagents for developing countries, were recommended by WHO as the replacement of or addition to the smear test in August 2016. In addition, the Group released Loopamp Leishmania Detection Kit, a reagent to detect the cause and protozoa of leishmaniasis known as “neglected disease,” as a research reagent for the domestic market in July 2016. Moreover, Bordetella Pertussis Detection Kit D, which had been released in December 2015, was covered by insurance as the first genetic screening reagent for bordetella pertussis detection in Japan.
In response to medical needs of “near the patient” examinations, the Group endeavors to develop a small-sized fully automatic genetic screening device and multi-item screening chip, aiming at their early commercialization particularly in the detection of respiratory tract infectious diseases.
As quick testing kits based on the principle of the immunochromatography method, the Group started to sell Immuno Catch-Legionella and Immuno Catch-Pneumococcal, which launched in the Japanese market respectively in December 2014 and January 2016 and respectively received high reputation, to the overseas markets starting from October 2016.
To meet recent demand for antimicrobial resistance measures and enable to appropriate selection of antimicrobial agents, the Group released Yeast-Like Fungus FP used for the sensitivity test of antifungal agents in November 2016; Tigecycline FP used for the sensitivity test of antibacterial agents in November 2016; and Metronidazole FP in March 2017.
As a urine test device, the Group started to sell a portable automatic urine analyzer called “US-1200” that meets a wide range of screenings in August 2016.
The Group plans to continue the joint development with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. basically in the field that both company can complement with each other under the business collaboration agreement.

(millions of yen except per share amounts)
  March 31, 2013 March 31, 2014 March 31, 2015 March 31, 2016 March 31, 2017
R&D expenses (millions of yen) 1,840 1,945 2,456 2,272 2,336