In 2015, we transferred Santenís anti-rheumatic pharmaceutical business to AYUMI Pharmaceutical Corporation, and focused our business activities on the field of ophthalmology. We will help to improve the QOL of patients around the world and contribute to society, by enhancing our expertise more than ever as a "specialized ophthalmic pharmaceutical company."
In terms of business expansion, Santen has been strengthening business foundations in EMEAnote1 and Asia. As a result, we have had more opportunities than ever to provide our products and services, and contribute to treatments for patients and healthcare professionals in more countries and regions than ever before.
In product development, worldwide employees of the Santen Group are promoting a variety of efforts to shorten development times, raise the probability of success and satisfy unmet therapeutic needs in order to provide treatments required by patients across the world as soon as possible. Specifically, as part of the "Network Product Developmentnote2 aimed at shortening development times by actively utilizing external compounds and technologies, Santen licensed DE-126 (sepetaprost) from ONO Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in March 2016. DE-126 successfully passed the Phase II trialnote3 for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension in the U.S. and is being developed for future commercialization by Santen on a worldwide basis.
Furthermore, the launch of Ikervis (ciclosporin), a treatment for severe keratitis in adult patients with dry eye disease which has not improved despite treatment with tear substitutes, started in successive countries in Europe in July 2015. Also, applications for the marketing of Ikervis have been successively filed in several Asian countries. Santen promotes these efforts in order to provide novel treatment options, thereby enhancing the QOL of patients around the world.
EMEA: Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Network Product Development: an approach of proactive use of compounds and technologies from outside the company in product development
Phase II trial: Testing conducted on a small number of patients to examine/identify appropriate doses and administration methods for the treatment of a disease
Promoting CSR activities integrated into business conduct and activities based on high ethical standards will be crucial to a company's fulfillment of social responsibilities and continuous growth.
With the rapid expansion of areas in which Santen conducts business, we now benefit from increasing employee diversity while at the same time need to address regulations that differ between countries and regions. Under such circumstances, we should not only ensure that we comply with laws and regulations in operating our business activities, but also promote the establishment of our business platforms in order to guarantee that our products are securely delivered to patients. Furthermore, we should make more efforts than ever to tackle such social and environmental issues as human-rights violations and climate change. In order to maintain transparent and sound management practices, we at Santen will upgrade and strengthen our corporate governance functionality and most appropriately develop human resources.
As a specialized ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, Santen's CSR includes not only contributions to society through the provision of products and services but also contributions in the field of medical care and welfare. In the field of medical care, Santen will focus, with added dedication, not only on promoting medical and pharmaceutical research and keratoplasty, but also on supporting organizations and NGOs providing ophthalmology scholarships and prevention of blindness programs in developing countries. In the field of welfare, Santen will continue to support guide-dog development programs as well as the activities of support groups for the visually impaired.
Santen established the Santen Leadership Competency (SLC), a framework that conveys our expectations for personnel based on Santen's Values, and a new personnel evaluation system, and has rolled out SLC within the Santen Group from April 2015. The SLC will not only serve as a standard by which employees develop their competencies and design their careers, but also as a significant tool to help all levels of employees understand and put into practice the activities based on Santen's Values.
We will develop human resources with high ethical standards based on Santen's Values, thereby strengthening our organizational ability. This is vitally important if we aim to make concerted efforts as the Santen Group, consisting of employees with a variety of professional and cultural backgrounds, and to carry out our CSR integrated into business conduct, in order to contribute to patients around the world and to carry out our CSR in a steadfast manner.
We at Santen will continue to focus on contributing to patients and their loved ones and consequently to society, in accordance with Santen's Values.
Your continued cooperation and support are highly appreciated.