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NEDO’s Energy Saving and Non-Fossil Energy Conversion Technology Strategy 2024

https://www.nedo.go.jp/news/press/AA5_101741.html NEDO and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have identified important technologies that will significantly contribute to energy conservation and non-fossil energy conversion in the future. In order to effectively promote the research, development and dissemination of energy conservation technology and non-fossil energy conversion technology, they have formulated the “Energy Saving and Non-Fossil Energy Conversion Technology Strategy 2024. This strategy includes the “Sixth Energy Basic Plan,” “Green Growth Strategy to Achieve Carbon Neutrality in 2050,” “Clean Energy Strategy Interim Review,” “Basic Policy for Realizing GX,” and “Rationalization of Energy Use. In light of the amendments to the Act on Conversion to Non-Fossil Energy they have newly added and compiled technologies related to conversion to non-fossil energy that will lead to decarbonization. The publication contains images related to important technologies stipulated in the “Energy Conservation and Non-Fossil Energy Conversion Technology Strategy 2024”

IQVIA: Japan’s pharmaceutical market 2023

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/news/p1/24/05/21/11930/ According to a market survey by ISQIA,”anti-tumor drugs” ranked first at 1,959.4 billion yen. The market is overwhelmingly large and continues to grow strongly, approaching 2 trillion yen. Its share of the total market was 17.2%. IQVIA said that in addition to Imfinzi, the anti-CD79b monoclonal antibody conjugated to a microtubule inhibitor, Polivee (polatuzumab vedotin, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.), contributed to growth in this area with sales increasing 81.4% year-on-year. IQVIA predicts that growth will continue, centered on new drugs, and that it will exceed 2 trillion yen in 2024. The second-largest “diabetes treatment” market increased by 7.1% compared to the previous year, and growth accelerated. “Sales of SGLT-2 inhibitors increased due to the addition of an indication for chronic kidney disease (CKD), as well as GLP-1 receptor agonists Ozempic (semaglutide, Novo Nordisk) and Libersus ( Significant growth in sales of semaglutide (MSD) also contributed.” (IQVIA) In third place was the immunosuppressant market, with rheumatoid arthritis treatment drug Rinvoc (upadacitinib, AbbVie) increasing 71.2% year-on-year, and atopic dermatitis treatment drug Dupixent (dupilumab, Sanofi) increasing by 71.2% compared to the previous year. This was a significant increase of 37.6%. “Dupixent’s expanded use in children contributed to its growth” (IQVIA). Due to the transition of COVID-19 to a Class 5 infectious disease in May 2023, sales of diagnostic test reagents decreased significantly by 20.8% compared to the previous year, dropping two ranks to 6th place. On the other hand, systemic antiviral drugs, which include therapeutic drugs, rose from 6th place in the previous year to 4th place. Due to the expansion of the market for COVID-19 treatment drugs and growth in influenza treatment drugs, sales recorded high growth of 48.6% year on year. Additionally, renin-angiotensin system agonists, which had always been ranked within the top 10 since the top-line announcement began in 2005, finally dropped out of the rankings this quarter. Chugai Pharmaceutical tops corporate sales ranking for third consecutive year. Sales were 539.9 billion yen, an increase of 1.4% from the previous year. Growth in Polibee and strong sales of the main product Hemlibra (emicizumab), a treatment for hemophilia A, contributed. AstraZeneca, which ranked third in the previous year, emerged in second place, with sales of 513.2 billion yen, an increase of 12.6% compared to the previous year. In addition to Imfinzi, the diabetes drug Farxiga (dapagliflozin) grew. Sales of Farxiga continue to grow due to expanded indications for chronic heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Third place was MSD, with sales of 497.2 billion yen, an increase of 30.2% from the previous year, showing the highest growth rate among the top 20 companies. In addition to the aforementioned Lagebryo and Keytruda, the HPV vaccine Sylgard 9 (recombinant precipitated 9-valent human papillomavirus-like particle vaccine [yeast-derived]) contributed to growth. IQVIA Japan classifies the domestic medical drug market into three markets: “hospitals,” “practitioners,” and “pharmacies and others.” In fiscal 2023, sales in the hospital market will increase by 4.6% from the previous year to 5,330.6 billion yen, in the private practice market by 2.0% to 2,114.9 billion yen, and in pharmacies and other sales by 3.3% to 3,925.2 billion yen. became.  

Human vaccination with micro algae vaccines?

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/column/16/041300080/042400011/ Professor Shinya Miyagijima of the National Institute of Genetics and colleagues have established a new haploid cell line from the microalgae Cyanidium calgarum discovered in acidic hot springs in Japan. The established haploid strain does not have a cell wall. Therefore, it is easy to perform genetic recombination. There is no need to disrupt cell walls during protein extraction, reducing extraction and purification costs. In addition, since it grows in a strongly acidic environment, it is difficult for other microorganisms to contaminate it, making it easy to cultivate aseptically. Furthermore, because it is haploid, it is genetically stable and can be stored for long periods at room temperature. Professor Miyagijima and his colleagues have also established technology for culturing haploid Ideyukogome at high density and for high expression of heterologous genes, and collaborate to develop an oral vaccine. When administering vaccines orally, the acid-resistant microalgae protect the antigenic proteins  and will be released in the neutral or hypotonic environment of the intestinal tract. In order to use it as an oral vaccine platform, the researchers have made various improvements using genetic recombination technology and, using green fluorescent protein (GFP) have shown that most of GFP reached the small intestine rather than the stomach. They also expressed a protein in which an epitope recognized by intestinal M cells was added to the envelope protein of the rabies virus, in order to investigate whether immunity could be induced by orally administering Cyanidium calgarum into which an antigen protein had been introduced. It was confirmed that blood IgG could be induced via the intestinal tract. Based on this prior research, this project aims to develop oral vaccines for Japanese encephalitis virus and enterovirus, and to obtain non-clinical proof of concept (POC) by March 2025. If this concept can be made into oral medicine, it will be possible to administer vaccines without needles or syringes. The labor required for vaccination can also be reduced. Furthermore, if a cold chain is not required for transportation or manufacturing, vaccines can be distributed throughout the world. Further plans are to feed the dried powder to mice to evaluate whether it is effective. If the dry powder functions as a vaccine, it would have major advantages in terms of storage and transportation.

2024/04 Mitsui Chemicals starts producing chemicals from pyrolyzed bio & waste plastic oil, and cooperates with Kao on polymer recycling

https://jp.mitsuichemicals.com/jp/release/2024/2024_0322/index.htm Mitsui Chemicals has started to use pyrolyzed oil (hereinafter referred to as waste plastic decomposed oil) procured from CFP Co. in its cracker at Osaka factory (Takaishi City, Osaka Prefecture) for mass production of a wide range of products (chemicals and plastics). Waste plastic cracked oil (“RePlayer”), like petroleum-derived naphtha and biomass naphtha (“BePlayer”), is a hydrocarbon oil, and by feeding it into a cracker, basic raw materials such as ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 fractions, and benzene are produced. Since basic chemicals such as phenol and plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene are manufactured from the obtained basic raw materials, the physical properties of derivative products (chemicals and plastics) are equivalent to existing products (virgin products). The relative contents of bio and recycled raw materials in these products will be determined using the mass balance method. In addition, waste plastics produced by Kao Corporation will be used as raw materials in a joint study to implement a circular scheme through chemical recycling to manufacture recycled plastic and use it in Kao products.

Pharma Foods succeeds to prepare fiber materials from eggshell

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/news/p1/24/05/04/11872/ https://www.pharmafoods.co.jp/products/ovoveil 2.63 million tons of chicken eggs are used annually in Japan, and about half are sold as raw eggs for home use, while the remaining half are used as liquid eggs for commercial use. During the manufacturing process of liquid eggs, am estimated amount of 260,000 t of eggshells and 10,000 t of eggshell membranes are produced as waste. The eggshells produced during the liquid egg manufacturing process will rot if left unattended Their main component is calcium carbonate.The eggshell membrane is a protein complex containing collagen and cystine, which has the function of not allowing water to pass through but allowing oxygen to take in, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects to protect fertilized egg cells. The company is already using it as an ingredient in health foods. The company has developed fibers made by spinning a 1:9 mixture of hydrolyzed and dissolved eggshell membranes and regenerated cellulose fibers. It is named ovoveil and currently studied with textile manufacturers to develop its application. Eggshell membranes have the advantage of being concentrated in liquid egg manufacturing factories. They could bs used to produce 100,000 tons of fiber which would fully meet the needs of the apparel industry. The global annual production of sheep wool is 1 million tons, and cashmere from cashmere goats, is  20,000 tons a year. At present, it is recommended that Obovere be added to approximately 30% of the final product. For example, when making T-shirts, the blend is 70% cotton and 30% obovere. Oboveil has a lot of cystine, which is relatively similar to keratin, so physical properties are similar to animal fibers. Textile manufacturers have already praised its good texture,” Koga said. The deputy director reveals. We also evaluated its functionality and confirmed that it improved the skin’s barrier function, measured by the amount of water evaporated from the skin, and kept the skin slightly acidic. With the support of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO),  the development of next-generation production technology for Ovoveil contains 30% eggshell membranes while utilizing enzymes. We will develop energy storage devices that take advantage of the electrical properties of hydrolyzed eggshell membranes, and develop agricultural fertilizers using eggshell membranes. The company has so far confirmed that eggshell membrane hydrolyzate can be made into nanofibers and used as a power storage device.   Photo: Oboveil, a fiber containing eggshell membrane developed by Pharma Foods (Source: Nikkei Biotech, photo taken April 17, 2024)

Sumitomo announces clinical tests with universal influenza type A vaccine in Belgium

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/news/p1/24/05/15/11904/ Sumitomo Pharma and the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition (NIBIOHN) will start Phase I clinical trials for fH1/DSP-0546LP, a universal influenza vaccine for influenza type A, even if a mutation occurs. Membrane-fused hemagglutinin will be used as the antigen. The membrane-fused hemagglutinin used as an antigen is made by changing the structure of normal hemagglutinin to expose an epitope that is common to various influenza viruses. In addition, fH1/DSP-0546LP uses DSP-0546LP as an adjuvant, which contains a substance that specifically activates TLR7, one of Toll-like receptors. It is intended to enhance the immune response and its persistence by the vaccine. The Phase I clinical trial of fH1/DSP-0546LP will be conducted in Belgium in July 2024. It will target subtypes of seasonal influenza A that have antigens highly homologous to the membrane-fused hemagglutinin to be used, with the aim of covering all subtypes of seasonal influenza A in the future. Several dozen patients will be included in each group, which will include a placebo group, antigen alone, and adjuvant alone. In order to verify the efficacy of the vaccine in Phase II and later clinical trials, the company plans to conduct a virus exposure study in which subjects participating in the clinical trials will be infected with influenza viruses, but at this time the number of regions in the world where exposure studies are possible is limited. Belgium allows exposure testing. The Phase II clinical trial will also be conducted in Belgium, with plans to obtain proof of concept (POC) by exposing vaccinated subjects to influenza viruses and evaluating whether infection can be prevented.

TOWING and Mitsubishi Research Institute: field test of carbon farming using a high performance biochar

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/release/24/03/21/19810/ TOWING and Mitsubishi Research Institute have started a field demonstration of carbon farming using TOWING’s high-performance biochar “Soratan” in Miyazaki Prefecture on March 1. The application of the high-functional biochar will improve the quality of farmland soil and increase productivity, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions through soil carbon sequestration.  

Mitsui Chemicals starts producing chemicals from pyrolyzed bio & waste plastic oil, and cooperates with Kao on polymer recycling

https://jp.mitsuichemicals.com/jp/release/2024/2024_0322/index.htm Mitsui Chemicals has started to use pyrolyzed oil (hereinafter referred to as waste plastic decomposed oil) procured from CFP Co. in its cracker at Osaka factory (Takaishi City, Osaka Prefecture) for mass production of a wide range of products (chemicals and plastics). Waste plastic cracked oil (“RePlayer”), like petroleum-derived naphtha and biomass naphtha (“BePlayer”), is a hydrocarbon oil, and by feeding it into a cracker, basic raw materials such as ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 fractions, and benzene are produced. Since basic chemicals such as phenol and plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene are manufactured from the obtained basic raw materials, the physical properties of derivative products (chemicals and plastics) are equivalent to existing products (virgin products). The relative contents of bio and recycled raw materials in these products will be determined using the mass balance method. In addition, waste plastics produced by Kao Corporation will be used as raw materials in a joint study to implement a circular scheme through chemical recycling to manufacture recycled plastic and use it in Kao products.

NITE and NEDO launch Green Innovation Forum for CO2-based applied industrial microbiology

https://www.nite.go.jp/nbrc/information/release/20240326.html The National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)  has launched a new project, “Green Innovation”, in which microorganisms that contribute to the production of useful substances from carbon dioxide (CO2) and related information (growth conditions, genome information, useful gene information, etc.) will be made available to companies from the project period. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) will launch the Green Innovation Forum (GI Forum), which is open to participating companies from April 1, 2024.

Kao develops mosquito skin repellant based on silicone

https://bio.nikkeibp.co.jp/atcl/news/p1/24/03/15/11690/ Kao has commercialized an insect repellent in Thailand and Singapore using silicone oil. The cream-like formulation contains silicone oil and citronella oil. It is well received for its non-irritating and easy-to-like scent.In the regions where it was released, people have a lifestyle of using body lotion to moisturize after bathing, so by using Mos Block Serum, it has both moisturizing and insect repellent effects. The basic finding is that on normal skin, mosquitoes stop and suck blood (left), but on skin coated with silicone oil (right), mosquitoes quickly leave and do not suck blood (photo provided by Kao). Mosquito feet are covered with scaly bumps and hydrophobic components that repel water. On top of hydrophobic solutions, their legs feel dragged and they sink. For this reason, mosquitoes instinctively avoid hydrophobic solutions, and when they come into contact with skin coated with hydrophobic silicone oil, they immediately move away. Silicone oil enhances the mosquito repellency of citronella oil. When a mixture of silicone oil and citronella oil is applied to the skin, the silicone oil makes it easier for the drug to adhere to the mosquito’s legs, making it more effective at repelling mosquitoes than using citronella oil alone.

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