Japan’s Pharma industry

japanstrategy.com

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

Our business platform for Japan’s pharma sector


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 (traditional pharma industry)


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

In addition to the traditional pharma companies (about 110), there are foreign pharma companies (including Novartis, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, BAYER and many more), new entrants – eg industrial companies diversifying or pivoting into life sciences, ventures including University spin-outs and more.

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