Early products: More than 100 years in pharmaceutical development
One of the earliest products promoted by Daiichi Sankyo was the first blockbuster drug of the 20th century: Adrenalin®. Today it is still widely used to treat cardiac arrest and other cardiac dysrhythmias. Its active ingredient, the hormone adrenaline, was originally isolated by Dr Jokichi Takamine, who later became the company’s first president. The passionate and entrepreneurial approach towards researching and developing new medicines was also retained in the following years.
In 1910, for instance, Dr Umetaro Suzuki, a scientific advisor to Sankyo, made another ground-breaking invention and first extracted a complex of micronutrients from rice bran, which was the first discovery of vitamin B1. His works were the first studies on vitamins in Japan and the basis for further research in this field. Vitamin B1, which is nowadays also known as thiamine, was promoted by Sankyo.Vitamin B1 fulfils manifold functions in the body and is indispensable for a well-functioning nervous system.