Chugai and DeNA Jointly Launch “Ring Again,” a Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Awareness Project

Nov 24th 2020
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TOKYO, JAPAN – November 24, 2020 – Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 4519) and DeSC Healthcare, Inc. a subsidiary of DeNA Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 2432) announced that they have jointly launched “Ring Again,” a disease awareness project with the goal of early detection of rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition to the release of “Magic Glasses,” a disease awareness animation on rheumatoid arthritis, and a short film titled “Mother’s Lipstick” (awarded 2016 Cannes Lions Bronze), Chugai has been working on disease awareness activities through various media such as public lectures and radio/newspapers, to appeal to a broad age range about the importance of early detection, early treatment, and medical care provided by rheumatologists. Despite limitations in its disease awareness activities due to COVID-19, Chugai has decided to start “Ring Again,” using a new approach which involves collaboration with an IT company. Using a wedding ring, something that a person would wear every day, as a tool, we aim to achieve early treatment by gaining more people's understanding about rheumatoid arthritis and communicating the importance of early detection. To contribute to global healthcare and people’s health, Chugai will continue to engage in disease awareness activities focusing on patients.
The mission of the DeNA Healthcare Business is “making the shift from ‘sick care’ to ‘healthcare’ and lengthening healthy lifespans.” DeNA provides various healthcare services making use of the engagement science knowhow accumulated through its Game and Sports Business, with the goal of solving social issues in the healthcare space.
As part of disease awareness activities, DeNA has conducted the “Blue Star Project,” in cooperation with Roche Diagnostics K.K, a clinical trial diagnostic drug and equipment manufacturer and distributor, since October 2019. The project aims at improving the uptake rate of screening of cervical cancer across Japan. Based on DeNA’s abilities to deliver content including information that encourages people’s awareness and supports changing behavior and in communication designing expertise, both of which have been accumulated in the internet business and Healthcare Business, DeNA has focused on communication activities in the past year, particularly with the use of Instagram. About 3,000 postings related to the project, with many positive comments on cervical cancer screening, had been collected from supportive followers, which eventually helped us to encourage patients to receive screening.
Based on these results, we will further optimize the activities in “Ring Again” to target disease awareness of rheumatoid arthritis.
About “Ring Again”
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease that causes inflammation in the synovial membrane wrapping the joints due to immunologic abnormalities, for which early detection and early treatment are important. Many people may think that the patients are mainly elderly; however, in fact, the disease was found to occur in people in their 30s to 50s, i.e., at their working age.
Considering this situation, we have launched a project in which a wedding ring worn every day is used as a trigger to help people find discomfort and stiffness in the fingers. This project therefore will support people in their 30s to 50s to find changes in the bodies in their daily lives. Our intention is to encourage people, regardless of whether they usually wear wedding rings or not, to become conscious of wedding rings to notice changes in their physical condition.
In particular, we have started a website (https://ringagain.jp/, Japanese only) specifically for “Ring Again” on which a concept video has become available since Sunday, November 22, the day known as “Good Married Couple Day.” Furthermore, we will send messages to promote correct understanding of rheumatoid arthritis using a wedding ring as a tool through our official Twitter account (@ring_again) and a variety of advertisements.
I-PRIMO, a store specializing in bridal rings, has also decided to participate in the “Ring Again” project.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease commonly developed in women in their 30s to 50s. The number of patients is estimated to be from 0.7 to 0.8 million in Japan and 23.7 million in the world (1, 2). It is a systemic disease that causes functional impairment including joint pain and deformities. Without proper treatment, the symptoms may worsen over time.
The introduction of biopharmaceuticals allows us to aim at achieving remission (a state where there are no symptoms) with medications in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. An increasing number of recent studies have demonstrated that proper treatment at an early disease stage can inhibit progression of bone/joint destruction (3).
About Chugai
Chugai Pharmaceutical is one of Japan’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies with strengths in biotechnology products. Chugai, based in Tokyo, specializes in prescription pharmaceuticals and is listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. As an important member of the Roche Group, Chugai is actively involved in R&D activities in Japan and abroad. Specifically, Chugai is working to develop innovative products which may satisfy the unmet medical needs. Additional information is available at https://www.chugai-pharm.co.jp/english/.
About DeNA
DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) develops and operates a broad range of mobile and online services including games, live streaming, entertainment, healthcare, and other diversified offerings. Founded in 1999, DeNA is headquartered in Tokyo with over 2,000 employees. DeNA's aim is to delight and impact the world through the use of the internet and AI. DeNA Co., Ltd. is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2432). For more information, visit: dena.com/intl/.
References:
1. Report by Study Committee on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Allergy, Health Sciences Council (Japanese only)
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/2r9852000001nfao-att/2r9852000001nfdx.pdf
2. WHO Global Burden of Disease Report, (table 7, page 32) 2004
http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf
3. Kaneko Y, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2016;75:1917–1923.
https://ard.bmj.com/content/annrheumdis/75/11/1917.full.pdf