History of Santen


1952Daigaku 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.

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.
1962Super 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.
1963Listed on the second section of the Osaka Securities Exchange
Thiola, an original antidote for liver treatment, launched in Japan
1964Listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange
1965Sante de U launched in Japan
1969Shoukyu Mita is appointed president

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.
1975Anti-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.

Production system introduced to allow filling of solution into molded containers to make bottle-packed eye drops
Santen introduces a “bottle pack” production system, developed by Rommelag, a West German company. This enables container molding and solution filling in a single step. Santen thus becomes the first company to produce bottle-packed eye drops in Japan.

Soft Santear launched in Japan

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.
1981Timoptol, a treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, launched in Japan
1982Central Research Laboratories opened in Osaka
1983Itaru Mita is appointed president
1985Noto 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.
1986Intraocular lenses launched

Anti-infective ophthalmic Tarivid launched in Japan

As the world’s first fluoroquinolone opthlamic, Tarivid earned wide recognition among healthcare professionals for its powerful antibiotic properties.

Anti-rheumatic drug Rimatil launched in Japan

Takakazu Morita is appointed president

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”.
1991Sante 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.
1992TAHMIN SANTEN CO., LTD. established in Taiwan
Kary Uni, a treatment for early-stage senile cataracts, launched in Japan
BSS PLUS, an ophthalmic perfusion/washing solution, launched in Japan
1993Santen Inc.

Subsidiary Santen Inc. established in the U.S.

U.S. subsidiary Santen Inc. established. Santen Inc. conducts R&D, business development and strategic marketing activities in the U.S.
1994Santen GmbH

Subsidiary 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.

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-allergy ophthalmic Alegysal launched in Japan
Anti-rheumatic drug Azulfidine EN launched in Japan
Opegan Hi, an adjuvant for ophthalmic operations, launched in Japan
1996Nara Research and Development Center and Shiga Plant ERP package (integrated operation software) introduced
Beijing Representative Office opened
Nara Research and Development Center and Shiga Plant opened
1997Santen 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.

Claire Co., Ltd. (special subsidiary company) established
1998Medium-term plan “Hitomi 21” devised

Human resources management Reform plan 21 created

To adapt to environmental changes in the world, Santen changed it’s evaluation and compensation system considering work abilities and duties in order to enhance the value creation capability of employees, managers and the company. Also, Santen introduced the management by objectives system.

Timoptol XE, a treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, launched in Japan
Sante FX Neo launched in Japan

Santen articulates Santen’s Values

Santen articulates company’s philosophy as Santen’s Values and formulated Organizational Principles and Individual Action Principles.

OTC product tampering incident occurs
Santen Pharmaceutical Korea, Co., Ltd. and Guangzhou Representative Office established 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.