Clinigen acquires Japan’s largest supplier of unlicensed medicines

Clinigen Group, a global pharmaceutical and services company, has acquired International Medical Management Corporation, Japan’s largest supplier of unlicensed medicines, for an undisclosed sum

The acquisition will add to Clinigen’s existing footprint in the country following the launch of its Japanese business in October 2016.

The acquisition of IMMC is part of Clinigen’s strategy to become the ‘go to’ global leader in ethical access to unlicensed medicines and will allow the group to better address unmet patient needs.

IMMC, established in 2006, operates throughout Japan in sectors including niche vaccine, oncology and IVF. It currently has relationships with more than 850 hospitals and clinics, which will now be able to benefit from the broader access to medicines available as part of Clinigen.

Japan is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market. The unlicensed medicines market in Japan is underdeveloped, highly regulated and well controlled leading to a high unmet medical need.

For instance, from the 154 new drugs launched globally between 2008 and 2012, two thirds still remained unavailable in Japan by 2013, illustrating the difficulties patients in Japan have in accessing approved medicines.

The threat of counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain in Japan, also remains an issue. Japan is the second-largest target of illegal online medicine sellers in the world behind the US.

IMMC was acquired for an upfront cash payment followed by certain potential milestone-based instalments over 12 months.

From the year end on 30 September 2017, the unaudited IMMC gross profit was ¥352m (£2.4m).

Shaun Chilton, Group CEO at Clinigen, said: “This acquisition represents another strategic development, extending our geographical footprint and another step to becoming the global leader in ethical access to unlicensed medicines. The enlarged Japanese operation adds further capability in this high growth market which is crucial to our customers and a key part of Clinigen’s global offering.”

Yoshiyuki Kudo, President, IMMC, said: “Clinigen’s global expertise and our local knowledge will allow us to better address the unmet patient need in Japan, further benefiting our customers and increasing our offering in access to unlicensed medicines.”

Companies