Japan’s Pharma industry


Japan’s pharma markets overview

Japan’s pharmaceutical market is the third largest globally:

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

Japan’s pharma industry includes many different segments from

  • traditional pharma companies (including the 15 largest are listed below),
  • new entrants (eg brewery companies, electrical conglomerates, chemical conglomerates, rubber companies…. entering the life science sector)
  • pharma manufacturing, contract cell manufacturers (eg FujiFilm)
  • ventures (eg cell therapy, regenerative medicine sectors)
  • medical equipment (eg Olympus)
  • and other sectors

For our business development and M&A work we are continuously developing a large proprietary data base of Japan’s pharmaceutical industry, medical equipment, and related industries, research institutions, ventures, venture funds, and industry associations.

Our platform includes on the order of

  • 110 Japanese pharmaceutical companies (far beyond the top 15 listed below, and including a long tail of small and mid-sized pharma companies and ventures),
  • 230 Japanese companies in the regenerative medicine, cell therapy sector
  • data base of pharma organizations, research centers, research parks, venture funds, research organizations and more

Japan’s top 15 pharma groups

Ranking depends on criteria and varies year by year:

  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
  11. Santen Pharma US$ 1.5 billion
  12. Ono Pharma US$ 1.3 billion
  13. Nippon Shinyaku US$ 1.2 billion
  14. Sumitomo Pharma (was Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma) US$ 1.1 billion
  15. Mochida Pharma US$ 1 billion

European pharmaceutical multinational acquires a Japanese pharmaceutical company/factory

“We are a European pharmaceutical multinational in the process of acquiring a Japanese pharma company/factory. We have very limited time, and need environmental, technical and regulatory due-diligence of the Japanese pharma factory, including on-site water processing, radio-active and bio equipment, and extensive grounds. We need assistance in our acquisition negotiations (we have talked with a number of other Japanese companies, but they could not promise to deliver within our time limits)”

Eurotechnology: one day after first discussion with this customer (the European pharma multinational’s Japan-CEO), we confirmed cooperation with the Board of Directors of a licensed specialized environmental analysis group, and concluded the contract with firm time limits. In cooperation with our Japanese partner company, we produced a deep due diligence report including ground history back to original wood land, regulatory history including compliance history, ground analysis searching for poisons and other ground defects using ground radar, gas extraction and material probes for laboratory analysis, compliance for animal experiments, laboratories, and radiological compliance, waste water compliance including water treatment plant, compliance records for all permissions required for a complex pharmaceutical plant with extensive grounds. We identified a number of issues (regulatory issues, technical issues etc), determined the financial risk, cost estimates for correcting these issues, and regulatory risks, and potential financial impact, and actions required. We assisted negotations, enabling our client to reach a fair acquisition price, taking account of the financial impact of the list of issues we identified and assessed. – all within the required time limit.

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