posted at 23:50
Author Name: Katie Forster
Fujifilm vs Ebola: Japan giants turn hands to medicine
The company synonymous with cameras and photobooths said it could start producing Avigan, which has been approved in Japan to treat the flu but which scientists think also could crimp the vicious illness. The switch in focus is part of an effort by company president, Kazuo Hirai, to "Make medicine a central part of the group's development" as he looks to stem losses that have left Sony in the red for five of the last six years. Japan's rapidly ageing population makes the sector a smart bet for companies in search of growth, said Hiroshi Nakamura, a professor at Keio Business School in Tokyo. "The pharmaceutical industry in Japan is one of the few industries in which its domestic market is expected to expand for years, despite the declining population in Japan," he said. Barriers to entry that might stymie other players - such as technology and regulation - can often work in favour of electronics companies, which are accustomed to doing rigorous research, said Nakamura. "Fujifilm is one of the few companies which has managed to enter the market, thanks to, for example, technologies developed under its film business, a strong sense of crisis no hope for the film business, and a clear policy for differentiation against the existing big pharmaceutical companies," he said. The sector has also attracted companies more usually associated with products that are frowned upon by doctors. Beer maker Kirin produces a range of medicine used to treat cancer, kidney disease and high blood pressure through a sister company.

Posts Archive