Merger Rumors for Japan's Drug Firms
Shionoghi and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals are both facing big cuts in revenues as American and European partners take back marketing rights to major products. Sumitomo Bank, a major shareholder and debtholder in both, is likely to try to put the two companies together.
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Two of Japan's largest pharmaceutical companies, Tanabe Seiyaku and Taisho Pharmaceutical, are merging in response to hard times in the Japanese pharma industry. Their union, which will take at least a year to complete, will create a combined company with $4.3 billion in sales, ranking it third in Japan in revenues. The move won't solve both companies' weak pipeline problems, but it will increase their total R&D budget and give them more sales clout in the domestic market. And as many Japanese pharma companies struggle for survival, analysts believe more merger activity is inevitable.
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