Original Global Development
From East to West: A global expansion that started in Asia
Otsuka made its first expansion outside of Japan by entering the Thai market in 1973. At that time, most Japanese pharmaceutical companies were focused on development in Western countries. However, Otsuka believed that as an Asian company it should focus first in the Asian region, and quickly began to expand there. For example, Otsuka became the first Japanese pharmaceutical company to establish a joint venture in China - China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. After that, we headed westward to Europe and the United States, offering highly original products in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nutraceuticals and cosmedics. Today, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has affiliated companies around the world. Researching and developing products that promote health, supplying local and neighboring markets, and implementing global sales efforts, Otsuka employees are taking on creative challenges wherever they work.
OIAA: Otsuka's focus in Asia and the Middle East
The OIAA (Otsuka International Asia/Arab) Division was established in 2001 as the managing office for our business in Asia and the Middle East.
Expansion of Otsuka's pharmaceutical business into Asia and the Middle East began in 1973, with the establishment of Thai Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and its I.V. business. Then in 1974, PT Otsuka Indonesia and Taiwan Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. were established, followed by Arab Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., S.A.E. (currently Egypt Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., S.A.E.) in 1977.
In 1981, China's Ministry of Health sought bids for the construction of a production base for quality I.V. solutions. As a result, Otsuka became the first Japanese pharmaceutical company to establish a joint venture in China - China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Today, Otsuka (China) Investment Co., Ltd., which oversees Otsuka's pharmaceutical business in China, is making effective use of human resources and technologies, while making investments in various areas in order to maximize synergies among the group companies there.
After 1981, Otsuka expanded into other areas including South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia. Currently, Korea OIAA, Co., Ltd., located in Seoul, is in charge of marketing and application development for Asia and the Middle East. It considers the healthcare systems across these regions, along with the business environments for products, and then establishes and promotes sales strategies specific to each market. Korea OIAA also works to increase the added value of Otsuka products. In 2014, Otsuka Australia Pharmaceutical Pty Ltd. was established as Otsuka's first pharmaceutical sales company covering the Oceania region.
POCARI SWEAT, one of Otsuka's global nutraceutical products, was launched in Japan in 1980, then in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1982. Since then, the sales area for this ion (electrolyte) supply beverage has expanded and it is now available in over 20 countries and regions worldwide. *1 In 1965, ORONAMIN C DRINK was first put to market in Japan, then launched overseas in 1985, with production and sales in Korea starting in 2015, and then in Indonesia in 2018. In addition, SOYJOY made its market debut in Japan in 2006, and in the same year was first marketed overseas. We are also promoting the overseas expansion of our Cosmedics*2 business. While keeping our uniquely Otsuka identity, we conduct all international activities in a way that helps us integrate with the local culture and customs of each country.
- *1As of August 2021
- *2Cosmedics: cosmetics + medicine
Focus region for international expansion and pharmaceutical clinical development
Otsuka's pharmaceutical business in the U.S. is managed by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. Respectively, they perform pharmaceutical sales, and clinical development. Established in 2007, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization serves as a base for our international expansion strategy and pharmaceutical clinical development worldwide. The company aims to provide patients with medicines that offer unprecedented new value. Otsuka Canada Pharmaceutical, Inc. was set up in 2010 to serve as a sales presence in that country.
Our antipsychotic drug, ABILIFY was launched in the U.S. in 2002. In 2013, marketing began in the U.S. for ABILIFY Maintena, a once-monthly extended-release injection of ABILIFY, which is now available in over 50 countries. Otsuka acquired Avanir Pharmaceuticals in 2015, which has the world's first and only approved treatment for the neurologic disease pseudobulbar affect (PBA). Otsuka will continue to expand its business in the neurologic disease area, where treatment satisfaction is insufficient. The 2015 U.S. launch of REXULTI, a novel antipsychotic, marks a further milestone on our creation of new drug therapies.
We are also active in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular and renal diseases. In the field of oncology, we offer Busulfex, a conditioning agent prior to bone marrow transplantation in blood cancer. In 2013, Otsuka acquired Astex Pharmaceuticals and has accelerated research and development in hematological and solid tumors. In the field of cardiovascular and renal disease, in 2009 we launched Samsca, the first oral vasopressin V2-receptor antagonist in the U.S. In 2018, we began U.S. sales of JYNARQUE, the first-ever drug treatment for ADPKD.
In our nutraceutical business, in 1989, Otsuka acquired U.S.-based Pharmavite, LLC, which manufactures and sells Nature Made supplements, the most recommended supplement brand by pharmacists*. This brand began to expand in Japan in 1993. In addition, in 2017, the company began selling Equelle, a Japanese equol-containing nutritional supplement in the U.S.
With our 2014 acquisition of FoodState Inc., a pioneer of natural food-based supplements in the U.S. and the acquisition of Jasmine, the largest Brazilian health and functional food company, followed by the latest joining of Daiya Foods Inc., a rapidly growing plant-based food company in North America, the company is now working on further business expansion.
- *2021 U.S. News & World Report - Pharmacy Times Survey
Nature Made is ranked as the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for: Sleep Aids, Diabetic Multivitamins, CoQ10, Flaxseed Oil, Herbal Supplement Brand,Essential Vitamins, Omega-3/Fish Oil, Cholesterol Management (Fish Oil), Mood Health (St. John's Wort)
Strategic base for further international expansion
Establishing Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd. in the UK in 1998 as a regional headquarters, we have been expanding our pharmaceutical business in Europe with operations in France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain, and other areas. In 2013, Otsuka Europe Development and Commercialisation Ltd. was launched and tasked with ensuring the successful development and commercialization of our products in the region.
Interpharma Praha, a.s. in the Czech Republic is Otsuka's first research, development, and manufacturing base of active pharmaceutical ingredients and nutritional products in Eastern Europe. In 2013, Otsuka also acquired Astex Pharmaceuticals. This company's research center in Cambridge, U.K., is conducting unique drug discovery research using fragment-based molecular design technology for drug discovery.
In our nutraceutical business, the major European nutritional food products company, Nutrition & Sante SAS (N&S), became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Otsuka in 2009. Since 2010, Otsuka has been selling the leading N&S brand Gerblé in Japan. In 2017, we built a new gluten-free plant in France to meet growing European consumer needs.