Contribution to Global Health

Our Basic Approach on Global Health

Despite the rapid progress in technology and knowledge of modern medicine, unmet medical needs remain in a wide range of therapeutic areas, and every R&D-based pharmaceutical company is charged with the mission of addressing these issues by creating innovative new medicines. Furthermore, there are many countries and regions where people are unable to equally access adequate medical treatment due to inadequate medical systems and poverty as well as disruption caused by natural disasters or conflicts, etc.
Sumitomo Pharma has set “Improving access to medicines and advocacy” as a material issue to be addressed utilizing our various capitals (strengths). In addition, we have set the goal of “Contribute to the betterment of the healthcare system in countries/ regions that struggle with equal access to necessary healthcare, by developing healthcare professionals, raising awareness of the public, and making policy recommendations through collaboration with the industry, governments, and NPOs/ NGOs.”
We believe that working on establishment of healthcare systems in developing countries, training and developing human resources, and educating the public will not only contribute to achieving the SDGs, but also lead to an increase in our presence as a global pharmaceutical company.

For more information on our initiatives to improve access to medicines, please see "Initiatives to Improve Access to Medicines."

Our Strategy in Global Health

We formulate long-term strategic plan on global health and implement our initiatives by focusing the following points.

  • Considering the feasibility and efficiency of social implementation, we prioritize and invest our resources in infectious disease areas where we can leverage our strengths (specialty, technical capabilities, networks) and where we can synergize with our business.​
  • Recognizing that global health issues are to be addressed through global scale partnership, we work toward solving issues by developing sustainable systems in multi-platform collaboration with international organizations, government agencies, research institutions, and civil society.
  • Referring to the designated as Least Developed Countries (LDCs)*1 defined by the United Nations or Low Income Countries (LICs)*2 and Low & Middle Income Countries(LMICs)*3 defined by the World Bank, we decide the area we prioritize to address.​

Priorities in Addressing Global Health

SDGS Goal3

​Based on the "Basic Approach on Global Health" and "Our Strategy in Global Health," Sumitomo Pharma aims to support the achievement of Goal 3 of the SDGs: Good Health and Well-being. We prioritize the following four targets of Goal 3 and thereby strive to contribute to solving issues of global health.

SDG Goal 3 Targets prioritized by Sumitomo Pharma
Targets Initiatives
3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  • ​​Health improvement program for mothers and children in Cambodia​
3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
  • Health improvement program for mothers and children in Cambodia​
3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • Research and development for pharmaceuticals to treat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) infectious diseases
  • Research and development for malaria vaccines​
  • Research and development for a universal influenza vaccine​
  • Participation in GHIT Fund​
  • Initiatives for appropriate use of antibiotics​
  • Drug susceptibility surveillance study in Vietnam
3.4 By 2030, reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  • Research and development for therapies in the psychiatry & neurology and oncology areas​
  • Participation in Access Accelerated

Provision of Health Improvement Program for Mothers and Children

As an initiative for improvement of healthcare infrastructure in developing countries, since July 2016, Sumitomo Pharma provides an NPO-led health improvement program for mothers and children in Cambodia’s Kampong Cham Province by NPO People's Hope Japan. The Company is engaged in initiatives to promote health checkups for infants and pregnant women, regular education and training on nutrition and hygiene, and home-visit childcare support in collaboration with NPOs, local governments, local health centers, and communities.

We have provided hygiene and nutrition education for Community Care volunteers for Mothers and Newborns (CCMNs), including COVID-19 infection control measures, and developed baby food recipes together with volunteers for the mothers or caregivers in each village to practice preparing. Sixty-six of the mother and child healthcare volunteers we have trained to date are now working in the field.

In fiscal 2022, the program made 863 home visits to pregnant women and 487 home visits to postpartum mothers, promoted health checks for pregnant women, postpartum mothers and infants, and raised awareness about nutrition and hygiene. In addition, cooking classes for making nutritious baby food were held 43 times, with a total of 1,315 local residents participating.

Year Trained CCMNs Conducted home visits Held cooking workshops Supported capacity and tools
2017 15 202 visits (antenatal 95, postnatal 107) 3 workshops, 93 participants Original textbook to train CCMNs
2018 19 154 visits (antenatal 91, postnatal 63) 3 workshops, 93 participants Original anime-textbook for local mothers (nutrition, healthy growth, dental health)
2019 55 648 visits (antenatal 350, postnatal 298) 5 workshops, 124 participants Bicycles for CCMNs
2020 2 867 visits (antenatal 467, postnatal 470) 11 workshops, 310 participants COVID-19 educational posters and pamphlets, masks, disinfectant solution
2021 5 1,061 visits (antenatal 591, postnatal 470) 33 workshops, 691 participants Original anime-textbook for local mothers (nutrition, healthy growth, dental health)
2022 39 1,350 visits (antenatal 863, postnatal 487) 43 workshops, 1,315 participants Development of baby food recipes for children under 2 years, nutrition training for health center staff, education on nutrition and cooking practice for local residents
Ministry of Health staff training nutrition to health center staff

Ministry of Health staff training nutrition to health center staff

Baby food cooking practice and education on nutrition for children under 2 years

Baby food cooking practice and education on nutrition for children under 2 years

Strengthening of Public-Private Collaboration on Countermeasures against Antimicrobial Resistance and Appropriate Use of Antibiotics

In recent years, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been recognized as a social problem requiring international initiatives.
Sumitomo Pharma is conducting joint research with a drug discovery group of Kitasato Institute led by Dr. Satoshi Omura, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Kitasato University and the 2015 laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the purpose of creating drugs for the treatment of AMR infectious diseases. This joint R&D initiative has been selected by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) for its Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE) grant program. In January 2022, we started Phase 1 study in the U.S. for a new compound discovered through this collaboration for the treatment of carbapenem-resistant bacterial infections, which were completed in October 2022.
In Vietnam particularly, it has been reported that the resistance rate to antibiotics of various gram-negative rods, typically Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp., is especially high. In June 2019, as a partnership initiative with the ministry of Health of Vietnam, Sumitomo Pharma and the National Center for Global Health and Medicine jointly commenced an antibiotic susceptibility surveillance study in Vietnam in collaboration with ten major local hospitals in order to contribute to AMR countermeasures and promote the proper use of antibiotics in Vietnam. The study is a detailed cohort investigation into the development of resistance to the antibiotics used as a main treatment option for severe and intractable infections in Vietnam.
After completing the data analysis of the first year research in 2020, we held a debriefing session for integrated ten hospitals in September, and continue to report detailed results and exchange opinions with each hospital. Additionally, in 2021, we presented the results at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) with the aim of widely disseminating our research results. In February 2023, we began the 2nd antibiotic susceptibility surveillance study, which includes the establishment of a central laboratory whose aim is to improve testing techniques in Vietnam.

Vietnam's 10 major hospitals participating in the 1st surveillance study

Vietnam's 10 major hospitals participating in the 1st surveillance study

Efforts for Eradication of Malaria

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, the three major infectious diseases, are global problems that cannot be solved by one country alone and which need international cooperation to address them. Sumitomo Pharma is continuing collaboration with Ehime University, the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), and Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (iBET) on a vaccine to prevent clinical malaria, and with Ehime University and PATH in the United States on malaria infection-blocking and malaria transmission-blocking vaccines. Each of these projects has been selected for funding by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).The Company has cooperated with NPOs, local governments and communities to provide insecticide-treated mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria, and educational activities in Zambia, Tanzania, and Indonesia, as well as advocacy initiatives for public awareness of Malaria in Japan.

Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)

Through our participation in the GHIT Fund, we seek to improve access to medicines by exploring the possibility of utilizing our innovative drug discovery technologies to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and other diseases with significant unmet medical needs.