January 28, 2019
2 min read

Santen eyes North American glaucoma, retina markets

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Santen Pharmaceutical Co. is eyeing the North American market and planning to launch products for glaucoma and retina disease, Shigeo Taniuchi, president and chief operating officer, said at the 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

The company has targeted launches planned in the coming years for its glaucoma products DE-117, DE-126 and DE-128, as well as DE-109 and DE-122 for retinal diseases.

“In order to manage glaucoma treatment, it is very important and essential to have a wide variety of products for a tailor-made approach for each patient,” Taniuchi said. “This is why we feel it is important to have a 360 approach ranging from monotherapy to MIGS to address medical needs in glaucoma patients.”

DE-117, known as Eybelis in Japan, is currently in phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S. It is a first-in-class therapy that acts as an EP2 receptor agonist for glaucoma therapy.

Santen’s latest development in surgical treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma, DE-128, currently under the name PreserFlo and formerly known as the InnFocus MicroShunt, is in phase 2/3 trials in the U.S. The product’s efficacy is being compared with traditional trabeculectomy.

The company has shown a steady increase in sales and profit of 10% each year since 2013, according to Taniuchi.

“In 2010, we had a set goal to be the No. 1 player in Asia by 2020, and since then we have been making significant progress and investment into the market,” he said. “We have been developing our business in Japan to become a specialized pharmaceutical company with a global presence.”

Santen forecast an 8% increase in sales in Japan, a 25% increase of growth in all of Asia and a 27% increase in sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the period from the 2013 fiscal year through the 2018 fiscal year.

“We recognize that the market is very tough, so we are focusing on differentiated areas such as the approval of DE-117 or 109 in order to become a unique player in that market,” Taniuchi said. – by Scott Buzby


Taniuchi S. Protecting the world’s vision. Presented at: 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference; Jan. 7-10, 2019; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Taniuchi is the president and chief operating officer of Santen Pharmaceutical Co.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that Santen's financial forecast represents the period from the 2013 fiscal year through the 2018 fiscal year.