As reported by Reuters, Japanese pharmaceutical companies are planning to push for more international mergers and acquisitions.
It is thought this has come in reaction to the change in the Japanese market – in previous years, the Japanese pharma companies were highly protected by their own government when it came to their domestic markets. As a result, it was extremely difficult for a foreign company to break into the market. However, according to Peter J. Solomon Vice Chairman Frederick Frank, the market has shifted somewhat:
“So all of a sudden Japanese pharmaceutical companies like Takeda had to be looking outwards, not just inwards. So the last couple of years, Japanese companies had to be very aggressive.”
This was reflected in Astellas Pharma’s acquisition of the biotech OSI Pharmaceuticals.
However, it seems that the degree of Japanese cross-boarder deals will be constrained by the size of the Japanese pharmaceutical companies themselves. According to Evercore Senior Managing Director Francois Maisonrouge, the size of the deals made is “only going to get bigger if the Japanese companies themselves consolidate and get bigger. There’s lots of impediments to that.”
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