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Published on 4 September 2008

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Japanese drug firms expand abroad


Japanese drugmaker Shionogi has paid USD 1.42 billion (GBP 800 million) for US rival Sciele Pharma in a move that will allow the group to broaden its profit base outside its domestic market.

Shionogi specialises in treatments for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, infectious diseases and immunological disorders; as well as for cancer and related chronic pain.

Sciele focuses on sales and development of cardiovascular, diabetes, women’s health and paediatric related treatments.

Shionogi said the acquisition would help it establish a sales network in the US, in preparation for the introduction there of drugs under development, including anti-obesity and HIV infection medication.

The buyout is the latest in a spending spree by Japanese drug companies responding to Government-mandated price cuts and increasing competition from multinational competitors.

Last December, Eisai said it would buy MGI Pharma, a US biotech group, for USD 3.9 billion; Takeda, the country’s largest pharmaceutical company, agreed to pay USD 8.45 billion to take over Millennium Pharmaceuticals of the US; and Daiichi-Sankyo has outlined plans to take over Ranbaxy, the Indian generic drugmaker, for USD 5.33 billion.

According to Dealogic, the data provider, there have been 13 outbound deals by companies in the Japanese healthcare sector so far this year, worth a record USD 17.1 billion.

Copyright PA Business 2008


Sciele Pharma

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