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Santen Announces the Signing of Agreement between Merck for the Purchase of Assets in Ophthalmology


​Osaka, Japan –May 13th, 2014 –Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., (Osaka, Japan)(Santen) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., (Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA) (Merck) for Santen to purchase Merck’s ophthalmology products (COSOPT, COSOPT PF, TRUSOPT, TRUSOPT PF, TIMOPTIC, TIMOPTIC XE, SAFLUTAN and TAPTIQOM) in Japan, Europe, and Asia Pacific (“Agreement”). The annual sales in these territories associated with these ophthalmic products are approximately USD400 million. 


Under the terms of the Agreement, Santen will make an upfront payment of approximately USD600 million and additional payments based on defined sales milestones as needed (“Purchase Price”). Santen will also receive supply from Merck, the ophthalmology products within this agreement for a two to five year period. The Agreement is subject to certain closing conditions, including obtaining antitrust clearance in Japan and other closing conditions related to specific markets or regions. Santen intends to fund the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and bank loans.  The agreement is expected to close in a few months.


“Santen is proud to inherit and continue Merck’s formidable legacy in ophthalmology.  This transaction strengthens Santen’s lineup of glaucoma products, significantly expands Santen’s footprint in Japan, Asia and Europe, and is an important step in achieving “Vision 2020”, Santen’s long term corporate vision to become “a specialized pharmaceutical company with a global presence”. We are pleased that by entering into this agreement, Santen can increase its presence in the global ophthalmology market, which consequently allow us to contribute even further to meet the medical needs of the patients suffering from various eye disease ,” said Akira Kurokawa, President and CEO of Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.


Santen’s income is expected to increase in connection with this agreement, and thus EPS is expected to increase from fiscal year ending in March 2015. We are working on evaluating the financial impact, more detailed information as to our sales forecast for fiscal 2014 and the financial impact from this agreement to Santen’s medium term financial guidance will be presented subsequently.

About Santen

Founded in 1890, Santen is a global company headquartered in Osaka, Japan.  Santen researches, develops and markets ophthalmic products for physicians worldwide.  Santen currently delivers valuable ophthalmology products meeting the unmet medical needs to more than 50 countries and regions worldwide.  Among prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, Santen holds the top share within the Japanese market and is one of the leading ophthalmic companies worldwide. Based on its corporate values, Santen is committed to contribute to patients and their loved ones, and consequently to the society by focusing its efforts on ophthalmology and related areas. Tokyo Stock Exchange code: 4536. For more information, visit

Santen Forward-looking Statements

Information provided in this press release contains so-called “Forward-looking Statements”. The realizations of these forecasts are subject to risk and uncertainty from various sources. Therefore, please note that the actual results may differ significantly from the forecasts. Business performance and financial condition are subject to the effects of change in regulations made by the governments of Japan and other nations concerning medical insurance, drug pricing and other systems, and to fluctuations in market variables such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates.

This press release is a direct translation of the original document issued on May 13th, 2014 for your reference. The original document is in English. In case of any discrepancy between the English and translated versions, the English version will prevail. Please refer to for the original English document.​


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Nicolas Merigeau / Emmanuel Huynh



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Santen Pharmaceutical

Geneviève Garrigos

Corporate Communication Director - Santen Europe

Tel: +33-6-6554-6019