On March 25, Servier received authorization to manufacture and market a drug from its oncology portfolio in Japan.
In June 2020, Servier’s Japanese subsidiary will market, under its own name, its very first oncology treatment in Japan. A first, which opens up new prospects for Nihon Servier. Interview with Éric Delarge, its General Manager.
Why is it important for Servier, and more specifically for Nihon Servier, to have a first own-name drug in Japan?
Éric Delarge: Present in Japan since 1981, Nihon Servier has operated until then according to a business model based solely on the transfer of licenses from the Group to local pharmaceutical companies. As the Group was progressively shifting towards oncology, we started a strategic thinking few years ago on how to establish a viable commercial presence in Japan. As a result, we decided to develop Nihon Servier as a specialty care company, in the field of oncology to begin with. This medicine is the first oncology product that paves the way for a new commercial era for Servier in Japan. Our local ICTR will continue to clinically develop both primary and specialty care products so that Servier retains full control of its NCEs. Only the commercialization of primary care products would be entrusted in partnership to local stakeholders.
What are the specificities of the Japanese pharmaceutical market, particularly in the field of oncology?
E. D.: As access to healthcare is universal, the Japanese patients benefit from a very good compulsory health insurance coverage. Although framed by strict rules, the Japanese pharmaceutical market is driven by innovation and aims to meet unmet medical needs. Today it is extremely competitive and ranks third in the world in value (€71.8 billion), with growth of 2%. Oncology, for its part, is experiencing rapid growth, estimated at 15.6% compared to 2018. It is the world’s second largest market (€10.5 billion). As one in two Japanese will be confronted with cancer during his or her lifetime, clinical development projects are multiplying.
Emmanuel Pradère, Oncology Franchise Director:
“Thanks to the first approval in its name in Japan, Servier demonstrates its desire to become a recognized player in oncology on the international market. This move into the world’s second largest oncology market is further evidence of the growth of our activities in this field. The Group’s major investment in the fight against cancer is now reflected in six treatments available for patients.”
Did you know?
During the 2018/19 financial year, oncology accounted for 36% of the Group’s R&D budget, with the objective of reaching 50% of the Group’s share of R&D investment.
 International Center for Therapeutic Research
 New Chemical Entities