Pharmaceutical industries

Japan’s pharmaceutical market is the third largest globally:

  • USA: US$ 425 billion (2020)
  • Europa: US$ 200 billion (2020)
  • Japan: US$ 150 billion (2020)

The 10 largest (by annual sales) Japanese pharmaceutical companies are

  1. Chugai (Hoffmann-La Roche holds 61.16% of shares excluding treasury stock, 59.89% of outstanding shares) sales US$ 5.2 billion (2022)
  2. Takeda US$ 5 billion
  3. Eisai US$ 4 billion
  4. Astellas US$ 3.8 billion
  5. Otsuka Holdings US$ 3.6 billion
  6. Daiichi Sankyo US$ 3.2 billion
  7. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (absorbed by Mitsubishi Chemical) US$ 2.7 billion
  8. Sawai Pharmaceutical US$ 2 billion
  9. Kyowa Hakko Kirin US$ 1.8 billion
  10. Shionogi US$ 1.6 billion

We have about 110 Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and 230 other relevant companies in our business platform.

Japan’s health industries and pharma industries are among the worlds second or third largest, and are in transformation. Japan is in a transformation to open up pharmaceutical and health industry markets with the aim to reduce the therapy gap, ie bring more global therapies to Japanese patients, and to grow the pharmaceutical research and industry platform in Japan.

These transformations create very interesting opportunities for foreign pharmaceutical companies and ventures.

Japanese pharmaceutical companies invest much in foreign pharma ventures, and are also steadily acquiring major foreign established pharma companies.

Regulatory approval systems are being reformed to accelerate approval and to narrow the approval gap.

We are in the middle of a fundamental paradigm shift in Japan:

  • measures to overcome Japan’s “therapy gap” (ie there is a substantial number of advanced therapies approved in Europe and in USA, but not on the market in Japan).
  • accelerate the growth of global pharma companies based on R&D and discoveries in Japan
  • accelerating and international cooperation for the drug approval process

We have worked with a European pharma multinational on the acquisition of a Japanese pharmaceutical company/factory near Tokyo, and for several years are working with a European regenerative medicine venture developing cell therapies for immune system diseases. We are in preparations with a number of pharmaceutical ventures on their Japan business.


Medical devices / MedTech and Software as Medical Device (SaMD)

Japan’s medical device / MedTech market is the world’s second largest with an estimated market size around US$ 25 billion (2017) and growing between 1% – 2% per year. About 50% of medical devices are imported into Japan from foreign manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Siemens and GE.

Japan’s digital device and service market for healthcare is estimated to be around US$ 1.5 by 2025, approx. 75% for prevention, health management and rehabilitation and about 25% for diagnosis and treatment.

Major Japanese medical device manufacturers include:

  1. Olympus Medical Systems (revenues approx US$ 5 billion)
  2. Hitachi Healthcare (revenues approx US$ 5 billion)
  3. Teruo (revenues approx US$ 5 billion)
  4. Canon (revenues approx US$ 4 billion)
  5. Fujifilm (revenues approx US$ 4 billion)
  6. Nipro (revenues approx US$ 3 billion)
  7. Hoya, Pentax Medical (revenues approx US$ 3 billion)
  8. Sysmex (revenues approx US$ 2 billion)
  9. Nihon Koden (revenues approx US$ 1.5 billion)
  10. Teijin (revenues approx US$ 1.3 billion)


Financial industry

We have advised more than 100 portfolio managers including some of the worlds largest investment funds and Boards of Directors of investment funds, on investment target companies, including due diligence and analysis, on the impact of industry inflection points, on investment strategies into Japan’s rapidly growing venture investment ecosystem.

For investment fund managers we performed due diligence and analysis on Japanese, European and US technology companies.

For the Japan subsidiary of one of the largest global banks we analyzed their mobile banking system and found major malfunctions and serious security issues. We supported our customer in resolving the security issues, and preformed a long term IT advisory contract.


SaaS (Software as a Service)

Turn-round: “third restart” in Japan for a Silicon Valley based SaaS business process company (market cap US$ 15 billion).

This Bay Area B2B SaaS company (NASDAQ listed, market cap around US$ 15 billion) asked us for help for the “third restart” in Japan. The company had started in Japan about 10 years earlier, was not growing as fast as hoped and asked us to create a new “go-to-market plan”, and strategy for their “third restart” in Japan.

We determined the company’s competitive positions, market shares, true market positioning, recommended focus on priority verticals, talked with Japanese customers to understand Japanese customer’s pain points with the company’s products, found several problems of the company’s products which needed fixing, recommended an acquisition to address missing functionality needed by Japanese customers. We created a go-to-market plan focussed on priority verticals, and addressed issues with the management structure for Japan, holding back growth in Japan.


Environmental industries

With a team of Japanese and European PhDs, MBAs we deliver an understanding of all required areas of Japan’s environmental technology sectors, and we develop strategy proposals for entering these sectors.
Markets included many areas, renewable energy, recycling, soil pollution, radiation protection, waste collection and disposal management, land fill management, electricity co-generation, lean production.

In addition, we profiled a list of Japanese electronics corporations regarding their environmental strategies and impact, and part of our customer’s competitive analysis.

We deliver the environmental and regulatory due diligence report on the Japanese pharmaceutical factory, we find approximately ten different potential problem areas, and estimate the associated risks and potential costs, enabling our customer, the French company’s CEO, to negotiate a fair acquisition price, based on a thorough environmental due diligence assessment.

We selected and partnered with Japan’s leading environmental technology engineering company, and supervised the project management, and assisted our customer’s CEO with negotiation meetings with the the seller of the factory.

The acquisition was successfully completed and the factory is now under new ownership by our customer.

Our track record in Japan’s energy sector

  • For SIEMENS we worked on market entry preparations, market research and strategy to enter Japan’s environmental technology markets including renewable energy, energy technology (eg electricity co-generation), lean production, radiative protection, soil pollution, recycling and much more. We research deep and wide understanding, quantitative market analysis, projections into the future, and developed market entry alternatives.
  • For a San Francisco/Bay Area investment fund – and two of their investment portfolio companies – we created a broad and deep mapping of Japan’s post-Fukushima energy landscape including detailed quantitative data to assist with investment decisions for the fund and for business development and Japan market entry planning by the two portfolio companies.
  • For a Japanese energy equipment company, a subsidiary of one of Japan’s leading industrial holding companies, we explored business development options in the Japanese energy space, and created an opportunity with a US electricity generation equipment manufacturer.
  • For an investment fund we analyzed and performed due diligence on a Japanese fuel addiditive company to assist with decision making on a possible investment.
  • For a European smart meter and wireless sensor manufacturer we worked on a technical product development project to modify the sensor products for Japan’s different technical requirements.
  • For a US company selling electricity power flow market data measured by country wide networks of sensors next to electricity powerlines measuring the electro-magnetic fields, we worked on market entry to Japan, including analysis of Japan’s electricity markets and market readiness, worked on technical projects to adapt wireless sensors to Japan’s market, and worked on market entry planning.
  • and many more


Technology industries

Our customer: European manufacturer of high-precision components for Japan’s mobile phone base station market, and other telecommunications applications. Our customer needed an accurate and detailed mapping of Japan’s mobile phone base station market, in order to sell components for mobile phone base stations and other telecom network applications in Japan.

We delivered a detailed quantitative and qualitative mapping of Japan’s mobile phone base station market, segmented by manufacturer, technology, type of base station, mobile operator, installation history, and future projections.