20. Astellas

Astellas US
Astellas is the only new entrant in the top 20 pharma rankings.

2020 revenue: $11.51 billion (converted from ¥1.253 trillion) 
2019 revenue: $11.83 billion (converted from ¥1.289 trillion) 
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan 

The only new entrant in the top pharma rankings for 2020, Astellas joins fellow Japanese drugmaker Takeda on the list. Thanks to industry consolidation in recent years—notably AbbVie’s buyout of Allergan—Astellas was ranked No. 20 with more than $11 billion in 2020 sales. 

During the first three months of the calendar year, Astellas generated ¥312.3 billion, or $2.87 billion in revenue. Then, during the rest of the year, the company pulled in sales of ¥940.9 billion, or $8.63 billion.  

Together, the $11.5 billion in global sales in 2020 bested last year’s revenues from Regeneron, Alexion, Bausch, Merck KGaA’s pharma outfit and other midsized pharmaceutical companies.  

Astellas is on an April 1 to March 31 fiscal year, so the drugmaker didn’t report its sales figures for the 2020 calendar year. Astellas hasn’t yet reported full-year results for its fiscal year, either: It typically reports full-year results in May. The company generated ¥1.3 trillion during its fiscal year 2019. 

RELATED: New Astellas, Seattle Genetics Padcev combo data spark $5.8B sales hopes 

While COVID-19 presented challenges for the company in 2020, Astellas did score some wins. In February 2020, the company and SeaGen’s Padcev posted impressive results in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer that prompted SVB Leerink analyst Andrew Berens to hike his peak sales estimate for the drug to $5.8 billion. 

And in November, the company scored approval in Japan for roxadustat, its drug developed in partnership with FibroGen to treat anemia related to chronic kidney disease. 

RELATED: Astellas’ Xospata wins FDA nod in AML, with Daiichi competition looming 

Astellas markets Xtandi in prostate cancer with partner Pfizer, plus acute myeloid leukemia drug Xospata, bladder cancer drug Padcev with SeaGen, and several other meds. The company employs around 16,000 people worldwide. 

20. Astellas