Pharmaceutical Research Department

Research and development of high-value added pharmaceutical products that utilize the microbiome

The role of the Pharmaceutical Research Department is to develop high-value added products that utilize the microbiome and are useful in the medical field, 
and which are based on our own intestinal microbiota research.

Research areas

- Search for new useful ingredients
- Elucidation of active principles
- Formulation designs

It Begins with the Anti-Cancer Activity of Lactic Acid Bacteria

 In 1978, it was found that the company's Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota has immunostimulatory action mediated anti-cancer properties. This led to the launch of research and development on an anti-cancer drug, and the company's pharmaceutical research was carried out along with the preventive medicine initiative. This research has become the cornerstone of the Pharmaceutical Research Department which specializes in oncology.

*Classified as L. paracasei strain Shirota since April 2020.

Scientific experiment

Yakult's Pharmaceutical Products That Have Been Introduced to the Global Field of Medicine

 Campto (irinotecan hydrochloride), which is a plant-derived agent for cancer chemotherapy developed by Yakult, has been adopted at the forefront of cancer treatment not only in Japan, but also around the world primarily in the United States and Europe.

 In addition, Elplat (Oxaliplatin), which is an agent for cancer chemotherapy introduced by Yakult, is widely used as the first option in battling colorectal cancer both in Japan and internationally. Its application range has broadened due to it being authorized for use against stomach cancer.

Electron Microscopic photo of irinotecan hydrochloride
Electron Microscopic photo of irinotecan hydrochloride

Research Framework for Consistent Product Creation

 The Pharmaceutical Research Department handles everything from basic to development research, searching for and verifying the effectiveness of new ingredients that use the microbiome, and has systems and facilities to develop products that are useful in the field of medicine in a consistent manner.