1. Our vision
  2. About Santen
  3. History
Magnifying glass held over paper butterfly



With a proud history dating back to 1890, Santen is now the largest independent company focused entirely on ophthalmology.

In 1890 in Osaka, Kenkichi Taguchi founded a private firm called Taguchi Santendo. In 1899 he launched Daigaku Eye Drops, a huge success that supported the company’s early growth and still marketed in Japan today. 

In 1914 Chuko Mita joined and it became a limited partnership company. Santendo Co. Ltd was established in 1925, with Chuko Mita as president. Our longstanding approach – from then until today – is to grow through developing innovative and accessible ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, including the acquisition of niche ophthalmology firms and partnering with research specialists to support our work. We were first listed on the Tokyo stock exchange in 1977.

We developed our presence beyond Japan in the 1990s. We now have major sites throughout Asia, America and Europe, including all major EU markets, with our EMEA headquarters in Switzerland.