PHC Corporation Concludes Basic Agreement with Reed Specialities, Inc. to Jointly Consider Developing Cold Chain IoT System for Orphan Drugs

March 18 , 2019
PHC Holdings Corporation

TOKYO, March 18, 2019 - PHC Corporation (hereafter PHC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation (headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, hereafter PHCHD), has signed a basic agreement with Reed Specialities, Inc. (headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, hereafter Reed Specialities) to jointly consider developing a cold chain IoT system for the safe delivery of orphan drugs(*1) and others.

The current ethical pharmaceutical products industry is witnessing a significant increase in the development of macromolecular drugs such as antibody drugs and genomic drugs, necessitating stricter quality control. Against this background, the GDP guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in December 2018 require promoting high-level and uniform distribution operation including stricter temperature controls and measures to prevent fake medical products. The orphan drugs in particular that require special distribution management need more advanced quality maintenance and information traceability.

Based on the agreement, PHC and Reed Specialities will proceed to consider the development of new distribution management solutions to maintain the quality of orphan drugs and others that require temperature control in all stages of distribution channels from wholesale deliveries to dosing for patients in order to cope with environmental changes. The concept is to add monitoring systems utilizing IoT technology such as RFID(*2) and cloud services to our pharmaceutical refrigerators in order to realize quality controls in distribution processes as well as within medical institutions. PHC and Reed Specialities will accelerate their efforts to build a cold chain IoT system to manage distribution that enables safe drug delivery. This will be accomplished by making use of the trust and track record Reed Specialities and its affiliated companies have gained through high quality distribution networks and dedicated sales systems for special diseases. In addition, the efforts will be taking advantage of the strengths of PHC’s high quality and market share of life sciences devices such as pharmaceutical refrigerators and its accumulated experience and IoT expertise.

PHCHD is a global healthcare company that offers value-added products and services in the fields of diabetes care, diagnostics, life sciences and healthcare IT. The agreement concluded this time will lead to enhancing the value of existing products in the PHC life sciences business and also to provide new services.

The life science business now with its new brand name “PHCbi” following the company name change in April 2018 goes back to 1966 when the company launched pharmaceutical refrigerators in Japan. The products featuring high technology and quality now account for the No.1 share(*3) in the Japanese market.

Nobuaki Nakamura, Director of PHC Biomedical Division said, “The agreement is to examine possibilities which will contribute to greater precision in distribution management for pharmaceutical products by adding IoT technology to our hardware products including pharmaceutical refrigerators. As new fields of life sciences research for cell therapies and others make progress, PHCHD will pay close attention to the needs of healthcare professionals and researchers and endeavor to offer cutting-edge products and services that meet the challenges.”

(*1) Drugs for special patients who number fewer than 50,000 in Japan
(*2) Radio Frequency Identifier: technology to exchange information through RF tags embedded with ID information by short-range (depending on frequency band from several centimeters to a few meters) radio communication using electromagnetic field and radio waves.
(*3) Source: "Latest Trends and Future Prospects in Tissue Engineering Markets 2018" by Fuji Keizai Co., Ltd. (based on the 2017 actual achievements)

About PHC Holdings Corporation

Incorporated in 2014, PHC Holdings Corporation is a global healthcare company. Its subsidiaries include PHC Corporation and Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG. Committed to its corporate mission, “We contribute to the wellbeing of society through our diligent efforts by creating new value propositions for all the people who wish for better health,” the company develops, manufactures, sells and services medical equipment and solutions across diabetes care, diagnosis, life sciences and healthcare IT. PHC Holdings Corporation group’s consolidated net sales in FY2017 was 192.6 billion yen with global distribution of products and services for more than 125 countries. PHC Holdings Corporation changed its name from Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co., Ltd. in April, 2018.

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About Reed Specialities, Inc.

Reed Specialities was established in July, 2018, as three companies, Hokuyaku Takeyama Holdings, Inc., Vital KSK Holdings, Inc. and Forest Holdings Inc. who respectively have top distribution market shares for the Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kyushu regions jointly invested, to achieve high-quality specialty drugs distribution management. Reed Specialities provides high-quality distribution services to people who must use orphan drugs.

Media contact

Corporate Communications Group
PHC Holdings Corporation