To further expand the company’s European presence, Sankyo acquired Paris-based Laboratories Fornet in 2002 and gained access to the French market, one of Europe’s major pharmaceutical markets.
This was only the first step on the company’s European growth course, which gained further momentum after Sankyo and Daiichi merged in 2005. Following the merger, the company’s European headquarters was established in Munich and business activities in the United Kingdom and Germany were integrated. In addition, further investments were made in the German production site in Pfaffenhofen, with additional, state-of-the-art facilities being opened in 2007.
In the years that followed, Daiichi Sankyo continued its growth strategy by opening new affiliates in Ireland and Turkey – the fastest growing pharmaceutical market in Europe. In addition, the company substantially increased its field force capacity by taking over sales representatives from Merck Serono in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey. As a result, the number of employees in Europe grew from about 1,700 in 2007 to nearly 2,500 in 2010.
To extend the product portfolio, additional products were in-licensed as well. This included the osteoporosis drug raloxifene which was in-licensed from Eli Lilly for 34 European markets and different cardiovascular products for France, Ireland, Italy and Turkey. These products were an ideal complement to Daiichi Sankyo’s portfolio.