Japan's Sumitomo Dainippon ready for U.S. acquisitions

Osaka-based Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma said it's ready to spend up to $1.74 billion to buy startup companies that are developing treatments for hard-to-cure diseases and is centering its search on the U.S. market.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma President and CEO Masayo Tada

The company wants to "secure the seeds of business growth over the medium to long term through acquisitions," according to a report by Nikkei news. The report said the company is concerned because its "mainstay" antipsychotic drug will go off-patent in 2019 and the company is looking for startups that have reached clinical trial stage development. 

The company's president and CEO, Masayo Tada, told Nikkei the firm was willing to spend up to ¥100 billion ($886 million) for a company "with solid production and business management systems in place" would be willing to spend ¥10 billion to license other drug candidates.

Sumitomo Dainippon produces about 60% of its revenue outside of Japan and has made the U.S. market a key focus of its operations. The company has already made several acquisitions there including a 2009 acquisition of Sepracor for ¥230 billion and a 2012 purchase of Boston Biomedical for ¥16 billion.

The Nikkei report also said other companies like Eisai and Takeda are also looking at U.S. opportunities and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma announced last year it would spent ¥200 billion to acquire American companies.

- here's the report from Nikkei Asian Review

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