Understanding Chugai’s history that fostered the business philosophy “Innovation all for the patients”
Ten years after the end of World War II, Chugai worked to rebuild its business in the midst of a difficult social environment. Chugai’s headquarters and its Ikebukuro and Sakai plants burnt down in the war, and the Takata Plant was also half destroyed by fire, but the Takata Plant was restored just four months after the end of the war, under the leadership of founder Ueno. Nevertheless, even as rebuilding progressed, the company faced a crisis, with declining demand for Salsobrocanon and other products. Two new products helped to pull the company back from the brink: Guronsan® and Varsan® Tablet.
Point1: Succeeded in the industrial synthesis of glucuronic acid. Guronsan® is exported to the world.
In 1951, when signs of the company’s downturn in business had become apparent, Chugai achieved a success in the industrial synthesis of glucuronic acid. Launched for medical use as Guronsan®, a detoxiﬁcation and liver function improving agent, it attracted attention as the result of world-leading research and was exported to 31 countries, mainly in Europe. Output worth approximately ¥7 million in its first fiscal year grew to more than ¥1 billion four years later in 1955, making a major contribution to Chugai’s growth.
Point2: Insecticide becomes a hit in response to consumer awareness of environmental health
In 1952, Chugai developed and launched Japan’s first household-use transpiration insecticide made with lindane (γ-BHC). The initial product, Varsan® Tablet, was a tablet that was placed in a tin spoon and vaporized with the heat from a candle. Before long, a lightbulb replaced the candle, a ring replaced the spoon and the product became Varsan® Fragrance, an insecticidal fumigant. Demand for the insecticide, which began as a household-use product, expanded to office buildings, factories and forestry operations.
Point3: Roche supplies all 13 vitamins to the world. Nippon Roche also opens up the Japanese market
At the time Nippon Roche began operations, Roche's headquarters in Basel, Switzerland succeeded in the synthesis of various vitamins, starting with the total synthesis of vitamin C in 1933. Ultimately, the company became able to supply all 13 types of vitamins, earning it the nickname of "Vitamin King". In the 1960s, Nippon Roche became a pioneer in Japan's livestock feed market. Its business grew in the fields of food and livestock feed as well as pharmaceuticals.