Partnerships and Alliances
Otsuka believes in forming horizontal partnerships with other like-minded companies where there is the potential to accelerate the development of new products and subsequently distribute them to markets around the world. Where we can add value, we also acquire companies that can help our commitment to develop in areas where there are unmet medical needs.


We have a global alliance agreement with the Danish company Lundbeck. Like Otsuka, Lundbeck has a rich central nervous system heritage and a culture where insightful, creative people who see things differently are highly valued. In the long term, we believe the collaboration with Lundbeck will result in the development of products that will have a positive impact on a broad range of mental health illnesses that include depression, personality disorders and psychotic disorders thus improve millions of people’s lives. The aim is for Otsuka and Lundbeck to share market knowledge and research experience to drive the development and commercialisation of new products for 25–30 years. According to Nobuyuki Kurahashi, Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Vice-President for global CNS operations:  “Major companies usually embark on mergers and acquisitions, but that is more of a vertical integration of two companies. Otsuka believes that difference in opinion is a driver for success. If we don’t have differences in opinion, then there is no innovation.”

Astex Pharmaceuticals

The acquisition of Astex Pharmaceuticals highlights Otsuka’s commitment to developing innovative drug treatments for patients. Astex is committed to the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases through innovative drug discovery, development and commercialisation. Operating from two main sites, Astex’s drug discovery research headquarters are located in the Cambridge Science Park in Cambridge, UK, housing drug discovery research and preclinical development departments. The company’s clinical development headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay area, USA, and house clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing and quality assurance departments. With a rich product portfolio and multiple drugs in clinical development, Astex prides itself on the dedication and passion of its employees who undertake creative research that facilitates the translation of cutting-edge science into novel drug discovery and the development of innovative therapies to treat disease. View more information about Astex Pharmaceuticals.

KISCO International and Era Endoscopy S.r.l.

Otsuka is continuing to expand in the high-tech area of medical devices and acquired KISCO International, a French company that uses innovative technologies to produce implants for people with spinal diseases. In addition, Otsuka has acquired stakes in Italy’s Era Endoscopy S.r.l., with whom we are collaborating on the manufacture and commercialisation of an endoscopic system with an entirely disposable, self-propelling robotic colonoscope; this is designed to deliver the safest and most comfortable medical probe.

Proteus Digital Health

Otsuka is collaborating with Proteus Digital Health Inc., based in California, to develop a cutting-edge feedback system through which wearable and ingestible sensors provide patients and carers with a database of detailed information, such as when a medication has been taken and activity and rest patterns. The aim is to help patients better manage their conditions and to help clinicians provide more effective care when using new medicines currently being developed by Otsuka. This new frontier science is in keeping with our philosophy: ‘Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide’.

Date of preparation: September 2018

Reference OPSE/0818/COMS/1079

“Otsuka’s approach is to foster horizontal alliances with multiple companies. Work well together, win together. If we succeed, they succeed.”Ole Vahlgren, CEO & President, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe