Life science opportunities in the Kansai

Osaka, December 6, 2013 > Responding to the many opportunities in the Japanese pharmaceutical sector, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Osaka is organizing a Canada Bio Seminar.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Osaka is currently recruiting Canadian clinical research organizations to participate as speakers at the seminars. This is a great opportunity to raise your company’s profile and capabilities, and to seek new partners and investors in Japan. We will offer one-on-one meetings with existing and potential Japanese investors.

The focus this year will be to promote Canada as a location for clinical trials and R&D alliances with the goal of accelerating the discovery and delivery of personalized medicine.

Japan is Canada’s largest two-way foreign direct investment partner in Asia, and Canada’s second largest trading partner in the region. Japan is highly productive thanks to its advanced manufacturing sector and modern infrastructure, emphasis on R&D, and highly-skilled workforce.

Although Tokyo remains the country’s capital and often the first stop for business travellers, Japan’s western region — the Kansai — (population 22 million) is only a short distance away. With Osaka as its heart, the Kansai is host to a variety of world-leading companies such as Panasonic, Sharp, Kyocera, Nintendo and Kubota, making Kansai the second largest industrial and economic cluster in Japan.

The Kansai is also one of Japan’s leading regions for life sciences, accounting for approximately 30% of the pharmaceutical industry in the country. Key companies have chosen Osaka since the 1700s and today four of Japan’s Top 10 pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in the Kansai: Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. and Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

As is the general trend throughout Japan, the focus of pharmaceutical companies based in the Kansai has been shifting to drug development, especially for unmet medical needs such as oncology and neuroscience, largely because of patent expiry, the rise of generics and stricter standards for new drug approval.

Kansai companies have shown a strong interest in seeking partnerships and licensing opportunities internationally — including with Canada.

For more information, contact Teiko Oba, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Osaka.

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