Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

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About Santen

Company History

  • 1890-1935
  • 1951-2000
  • 2001-Current


1952 Daigaku Super Eye Drops
Daigaku Penicillin Eye Drops, Daigaku Mycillin Eye Drops, and Daigaku Super Eye Drops launched in 1952, 1953, and 1954, respectively
Launch of a business strategy focusing on eye drops for corporate reconstruction.
1958 Midorin-P
Expansion into the prescription drug market
Company renamed as Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (current name) Now accounting for more than 90% of all corporate sales, the prescription drug business (in other words, the manufacturing and marketing of drugs prescribed by health care establishment) has grown to become Santen's core enterprise. In 1962, Santen acquired the domestic marketing rights for the mydriatic Midorin-P (generic name: tropicamide) from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche and began sales of this treatment in Japan. A groundbreaking drug that promotes mydriasis, or dilation of the pupil, Midorin-P contributed to the advancement of ophthalmic surgery and diagnosis and helped the Santen enhance its stature in the field of prescription ophthalmics.
1962 Super Sante
The launch of Super Sante the introduction of Japan's first plastic eye drop container
Eye drops used to be packaged in glass containers, which had its drawbacks. These containers were difficult and expensive to produce in large volumes because they were hand-made and also had a tendency to break at times. The new Super Sante featured Japan's first plastic eye drop container that was easy to carry and use. The product along with its unique container became widely popular among consumers and triggered a rapid expansion of eye drop sales in Japan.
Thiola, an original antidote for liver treatment, launched in Japan
1970 Ecolicin
Antibiotic ophthalmic Ecolicin launched in Japan
This antibiotic eye drop was highly effective against the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and helped Santen establish a solid foundation in the ocular infection treatment domain.
Anti-inflammatory ophthalmic Flumetholon launched in Japan
Listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange
In this year, Santen increased its capitalization to 1,102 million yen and achieved a sales record of 9,000 million yen.
Santen introduces a "bottle pack" production system, developed by Rommelag, a West German company. This enables concurrent container molding and solution filling. Santen thus becomes the first company to produce bottle-packed eye drops in Japan.
1978 ROX-5T
Expansion into the medical device market
Santen begins marketing medical devices with the electroretinograph ROX-5T, produced by Heiwa Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. This device boasted superior operability. The first products sold under the Santen brand were 300 units of the campimeter model O-II.
Timoptol, a treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, launched in Japan
Central Research Laboratories opened in Osaka
1985 Noto Plant
Noto Plant established
The Noto Plant was Santen's first production base equipped with a factory automation system, and evolved to become one of the world's largest eye drop manufacturing operations. The plant is currently Santen's flagship factory and produces top-selling ophthalmics such as Cravit and Hyalein.
Debut of Sante 40 NE
Santen launches Sante 40 NE, an over-the-counter eye lotion for the treatment of blurred vision and eyestrain. This product eventually became one of the company's best-selling products.
Intraocular lenses launched
1987 Tarivid
Anti-infective ophthalmic Tarivid and anti-rheumatic drug Rimatil launched in Japan
As the world's first fluoroquinolone opthlamic, Tarivid earned wide recognition among healthcare professionals for its powerful antibiotic properties. In the same year, Santen also independently developed the antirheumatic Rimatil, which eventually turned into a mainstay product that helped the company build its rheumatism treatment business into a major corporate pillar to complement its ophthalmics enterprise.
Long-term vision drawn up for Santen's 100th anniversary
On the centennial of Santen's founding, the Company announces its long-term vision: "To contribute to society with the best products and services focusing on the eye and health"; and devises management objectives focusing on becoming " a world-class company" and a "leader in all areas of ophthalmic treatments".
1991 Sante FX
Sante FX launched in Japan
Santen launches Sante FX, an over-the-counter eye lotion with a powerful, refreshing effect. The revolutionary bottle design has gained much attention through sensational television commercials.
1993 Santen Inc.
U.S. subsidiary Santen Inc. established
U.S. subsidiary Santen Inc. established. Santen Inc. conducts R&D, business development and strategic marketing activities in the U.S.
1994 Santen GmbH
Santen GmbH established in Germany
In 2002, Santen GmbH launched Oftaquix (marketed as Cravit in Japan), a synthetic ophthalmic antibiotic, and began marketing operations for this product in Germany.
1995 Hyalein
Hyalein, a treatment for corneal disorders, launched in Japan
Hyalein ained much attention for creating a new market for the treatment of corneal and conjunctival disorders, which are known to cause dry eye syndrome. Sales of Hyalein have reached 10 billion yen six years after its debut.
Anti-rheumatic drug Azulfidine EN launched in Japan
Beijing Representative Office opened
1996 Nara Research and Development Center and Shiga Plant
Nara Research and Development Center and Shiga Plant opened
1997 Santen Oy
Santen acquires Oy Star Ab, a Finnish ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, and establishes Santen Oy, the first overseas production base for Santen
With its establishment, Santen makes its entry into the Northern and Eastern European markets.
Taiwan Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. established
Medium-term plan "Hitomi 21" devised
2000 Cravit
Anti-infective ophthalmic Cravit launched in Japan
With its strong antibiotic properties and superior ocular tissue penetration, Cravit has earned high ratings as a first-line treatment for eye infections.
Santen Pharmaceutical Korea, Co., Ltd. and Guangzhou Representative Office established
  • 1890-1950
  • 2001-Current