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Daishii Sankyo

France, at the heart of Daiichi Sankyo’s oncology strategy

Japan's third largest laboratory has located its European R&D center in France with the intention of becoming a world leader in oncology by 2030.

6 May 2022

Although historically involved in the field of treatments for cardiovascular diseases, Daiichi Sankyo has increased its research in oncology over the last ten years. This transformation is the result of a growing product pipeline, strategic partnerships and enhanced R&D. 

Daiichi Sankyo France is deeply committed to pushing the boundaries in the fight against cancer, by providing patients with innovative therapeutic solutions that are the result of the cutting-edge R&D carried out by the group,” said Benoît Escoffier, General Manager of Daiichi Sankyo France.

Daiichi Sankyo is one of the 25 largest laboratories in the world. With operations in 27 countries, it employs a workforce of 16,000, and has revenue of US$9 billion. Having opened in France in 2003, Daiichi Sankyo France is now the Group’s leading European commercial subsidiary in oncology. It has tripled its workforce in just two years. 

When it came to selecting the geographical location of a European R&D center, the laboratory naturally chose France. The France hub in the western suburbs of Paris at Rueil-Malmaison was therefore expanded by around twenty new employees in May 2020. The group’s European headquarters are situated in Munich, Germany.

“France is recognized around the world for its expertise in oncology. This is the result of work carried out by its renowned research institutes, and the reforms undertaken by the authorities to promote access to innovation,” said Benoît Escoffier, General Manager of Daiichi Sankyo France.

Currently, 25% of revenue is given over to R&D and 85% to 90% of R&D is in the field of oncology. Daiichi Sankyo has a strong pipeline of molecules and hopes to “become one of the top 10 oncology pharmaceutical companies by 2030 and the top 3 in terms of growth,” Benoît Escoffier added.

Three years ago, the laboratory launched Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan), its first antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), in the USA, then in France, in July 2020 (where 1,400 patients suffering from HER 2+ breast cancer are experiencing the benefits). Daiichi Sankyo has been collaborating with AstraZeneca on the development and marketing of both this ADC and Datopotamab deruxtecan, since March 2019. 

In addition, as a result of new techniques, R&D is developing manufacturing processes for new molecules based on messenger RNA and nanotechnologies, mainly in oncology. By 2030, around a dozen new indications are expected to be launched for the treatment of several types of cancer (breast, colorectal, non-small cell lung, ovarian, etc.). 

Daiichi Sankyo has also established partnerships for research studies with the Institut Gustave Roussy and the LYSA (the Lymphoma Study Association), a French-speaking cooperative group that federates all physicians conducting clinical and translational research projects in the field of lymphoma.

Photo : Jean Chiscano

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