Takeda Pharmaceutical partners with 7 Thai medical bodies for rare disease research

07, Sep. 2019

(From L to R) Professor. Dr. Ronnachai Kongsakon, President of the Medical Association of Thailand, Peter Streibl, general manager of Takeda Thailand Co., Associate Professor. Dr. Tanyachai Sura, President of the Medical Genetics Network of Thailand, and Duangrurdee Wattanasirichaigoon, professor at Mahidol University, pose at a signing ceremony for a cooperation with seven Thai medical institutions and patient support organizations in Bangkok on Sept. 5.
(From L to R) Professor. Dr. Ronnachai Kongsakon, President of the Medical Association of Thailand, Peter Streibl, general manager of Takeda Thailand Co., Associate Professor. Dr. Tanyachai Sura, President of the Medical Genetics Network of Thailand, and Duangrurdee Wattanasirichaigoon, professor at Mahidol University, pose at a signing ceremony for a cooperation with seven Thai medical institutions and patient support organizations in Bangkok on Sept. 5.

BANGKOK, NNA - The Thai marketing and sales arm of Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. will work with seven medical institutions and patient support organizations in Thailand to improve studies, diagnosis and treatment related to rare diseases there.

Takeda (Thailand) Co. and the seven partners signed a memorandum of understanding on the cooperation in Bangkok on Thursday, the company said in a statement. It is the first MOU signed by the Takeda subsidiary in this field.

There are many rare diseases in Thailand but awareness among medical professionals and people there about these diseases has been limited. The incidence of diagnostic errors and the death rate of patients related to rare diseases have both been high, Takeda (Thailand) officials said, adding that the company aims to improve this situation.

The partners in this endeavor include the Medical Association of Thailand (MAT), the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Association of Thailand (AAIAT), and the Thai Rare Disease Foundation, according to the statement.

Under the MOU, which covers a period of five years, the parties will:

-extend the scope of studies and research work to better understand rare diseases,

-improve the skill and efficiency in diagnosis of rare diseases in Thailand,

-support educational programs for healthcare professionals and patients,

-work with expert and patient advocacy groups to raise public awareness of rare diseases,

support the development of a national database on rare diseases,

-collaborate with key stakeholders for rare disease policy development,

-and take other steps, according to the statement.

Takeda (Thailand) General Manager Peter Streibl told reporters that his company was honored to start up a new project in a milestone year when it is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company’s main objective is to satisfy the needs of patients and it is focused on research and development, he said. It is important, first of all, to raise public awareness among the Thai people about rare diseases, Streibl added.

According to Duangrurdee Wattanasirichaigoon, a medical doctor at Mahidol University’s Ramathibodi Hospital, there are about 5,000 patients who are diagnosed with 300 different rare diseases in Thailand. The number is expected to be much higher because of the complexity of rare disease diagnosis as there are cases in which patients are unaware of their conditions and medical professionals misdiagnose symptoms, he said.

Some 80 percent of rare disease cases are attributed to inherited factors. But there are only 20 doctors in Thailand who specialize in treating inherited rare diseases, he said.