Managing Director & CEO
When in doubt, the patient benefit takes priority
“Contribute to medical care by developing, manufacturing and delivering essential medicines that other companies do not pursue.” Nobelpharma was created in 2003 based on this mission.
During the 17 years since our founding, we have gained numerous approvals—for 16 new ethical drugs, 1 additional indication, and 1 new medical device—and received 10 orphan drug/medical device designations as well as 2 SAKIGAKE designations (RAPALIMUS® GEL and TITANBRIDGE®). We have also been expanding overseas since 2016, receiving 1 orphan designation each in the US and Europe in 2017 and filing new drug applications in China in September 2019 and in US in February 2020.
Nobelpharma was started with only 6 staff members. At first, we struggled as the large multinational corporations would not pay attention to us at all, but by relying on our founding mission and carefully and consistently explaining its significance, we reached the first license agreement. Now, Nobelpharma has developed into a company with 336 employees, carrying out research and development with our primary code of conduct, “When in doubt, the patient benefit takes priority.”
Meanwhile, we booked our first sales in 2008, and after turned positive in 2012, we have seen 8 straight years of profits up to 2019. Thankfully in 2019, we have achieved sales of 13.4 billion yen with net income of 2.3 billion, enabling us to share 190 million with our employees as well as to offer dividend of 780 million to our shareholders.
Nevertheless, our aim is not revenue or profit itself; we consider these to be merely the fruits of achieving our mission and the means to achieve our mission.
Nobelpharma is an unlisted company with three corporate shareholders. Fortunately, each of our shareholders identifies with our thoughts behind Nobelpharma's mission, management policies, and code of conduct. They show their understanding over our prior investment in our research and development of new drugs and medical devices and in our overseas expansion (to China, the US, and Europe), without being excessively concerned with immediate profit.
On the other hand, the new drugs and medical devices industry is facing a difficult time. This is mainly because the research and development of new drugs and medical devices has become more challenging than before, and because growing social criticism towards escalation of medical expenses has led to even tougher drug pricing for new drugs and medical devices.
However, our founding mission remains unchanged in all times of history as we are confident that it continues to have major social significance. Issai Sato, a Confucian scholar born in the late eighteenth century, left behind the words: "I walk in the darkness of the night with a lamp in my hand. I must not worry about the darkness but trust the lamp as my guide." Having Nobelpharma's founding mission and our abovementioned code of conduct as our “lamp,” we are even more committed to the further development of our business facing up to these difficult times.