Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No. 254: Develop rice to mitigate hay fever for commercialization toward 2020 (March 2, 2011)

It is reported that 30% of Japanese people suffer from hay fever, and the market of remedy for hay fever is estimated to exceed 200 billion yen. The Japanese government starts to conduct substantiative experiments of rice to mitigate hay fever. This rice was developed jointly by the government and Nippon Paper Industries. Because animal experiments produced enough results to confirm the efficacy of the new rice, the substantiative experiments focus on the safety for commercialization. The research team paid notice to the treatment that keeps dosing the allergen substance, which causes hay fever, to make the body used to it, and utilized the genetic technology to introduce the substance into rice. Laboratories affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will start animal experiments to support the avirulence of the new rice. At the same time, the government starts to develop the technology to cook the new rice in alliance with Satake Corp. that is a food machinery manufacturer. Because any company can produce and sell once it has the new rice approved by the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, many agricultural production corporations are expected to enter the market. The government has already appropriated about 350 million yen for this project in the next year’s budget.

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