Japanese Drugmakers Strengthen Area Ties

Japanese drugmakers are keeping their roots firmly planted in the Chicago area. Effective Friday, Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. will list the address of its U.S. headquarters as Deerfield, the longtime home of Fujisawa Healthcare Inc. The Astellas name replaces Fujisawa as a result of Fujisawa's recently completed merger with Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. of Tokyo. Yamanouchi's U.S. headquarters had been in New Jersey but will now be in Deerfield. Under the Astellas name, the combined Fujisawa-Yamanouchi operation has annual worldwide sales of about $8 billion, putting the company among the top 20 drugmakers in the world. "As Astellas, we will build on nearly two centuries of collective experience to create a unique place in the U.S. pharmaceutical landscape, where true innovation is valued and rewarded," said Makoto Nishimura, chairman and chief executive of Astellas Pharma U.S. Inc. In Japan, Astellas is second only to Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which has more than $10 billion in annual worldwide sales. Like Astellas, Takeda has its U.S. base here, with offices in suburban Lincolnshire under the name Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. Takeda also owns half of Lake Forest-based TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc., with partner Abbott Laboratories. The United States has long been an important market for Japanese drugmakers, especially since there are no price controls in the U.S. as there are in their country, so selling drugs is more profitable here.

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