Eisai: The First 70 Years - The History of Eisai -

From a small R&D lab with 15 researchers to a global business in the top 20 in pharma worldwide

  • Corporate Chronology
  • The Story of Eisai
  • Eisai's Founder, Toyoji Naito
  • R&D Archives
  • History Gallery
  • 1911-1937
  • 1938-1954
  • 1955-1965
  • 1966-1975
  • 1976-1986
  • 1987-2001
  • 2002-present

1911–1937 (Pre-Eisai Years) Meiji・Taisho・Showa・WWI At a time when the domestic industry is mostly reliant on imported medicines,Toyoji helps to usher in a new phase in Japanese drug innovation.Later, he establishes the Sakuragaoka Laboratory to further realize this vision.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 1 Pre-Eisai Years

1889

Eisai's founder, Toyoji Naito, is born on August 15 in Ito, a village in Fukui, central Japan. He is the sixth child and third son of Kikuji Naito and his wife, Fuji.

“Eisai's Founder, Toyoji Naito”
1905

Toyoji leaves his village at age 15, heading west to find employment in Osaka.

1906

Toyoji is employed at Winkel Shokai in nearby Kobe, a port city in Hyogo. Meanwhile, he takes night courses in foreign languages and bookkeeping.

1909

Toyoji leaves Winkel Shokai on being drafted into the Japanese Imperial Guard.

1911

After completing military service, Toyoji begins working in imported drugs at Thompson Trading Co., Ltd. in Kobe.

“Eisai's Founder, Toyoji Naito”
1914

World War I begins.

1915

Toyoji moves to Tokyo and begins working at Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd. (now part of the Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation).

1917

Toyoji embarks on a seven-month business tour of India and Southeast Asia.

1918

World War I ends.

1921

Toyoji is involved in Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd.'s development of aromatic castor oil Castalol and analgesic cream Salomethyl.

1923

The Great Kanto Earthquake strikes.

Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd. falls on hard times, including when its main store in Tokyo burns down in the aftermath of the quake.

1924

Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd. acquires exclusive rights to market Japan's first anti-hypertensive drug, Animasa. A Japanese word Toyoji coins for "high blood pressure" in his Animasa ad campaign enters the Japanese lexicon and remains a general medical term today.

1933

A Salomethyl newspaper ad created by Toyoji wins Best Advertisement Award in the first award ceremony of Japan's Society for the Promotion of Newspaper Advertising.

Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd. launches vitamin A product Haliva (halibut liver oil tablets).

1936

Sakuragaoka Laboratory Co., Ltd. is established as a limited partnership in Tokyo.

Scale model of the Sakuragaoka Laboratory
1937

Toyoji travels abroad to observe pharmaceutical industries in Europe and the United States.

1938~1954 Establishment・WWII・Rebuilding・Transition Nihon Eisai established.By focusing on in-house R&D to create new medicines,the Company survives Japan's chaotic postwar period.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 2 Nihon Eisai Established

1938

Sakuragaoka Laboratory Co., Ltd. launches vitamin E product Juvela through Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd. Its chocolate-brown coating, “hard outside, soft inside” pellets and stylish packaging garners much attention at the time. Juvela becomes the laboratory's first success.

Sakuragaoka Laboratory Co., Ltd. launches Sampon, Japan's first sanitary tampon, through Tanabe Motosaburo Store Co., Ltd.

1939

World War II begins.

1941

Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd., Eisai Co., Ltd.'s immediate predecessor, is established in Saitama, eastern Japan.

“Origin of the Eisai Logomark”
1944

Sakuragaoka Laboratory Co., Ltd. and Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd. merge under the name Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd.

1945 World War II ends.
1950

Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd.'s contraceptive suppository Sampoon, researched and developed during Japan's postwar baby boom, receives official approval from the Japanese government.

“Eisai Advertising Through the Years”

Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd. launches cardiotonic Neophyllin in Japan.

1952

Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd. launches high-dosage vitamin B1 and B2 product Chocola BB Tablets in Japan.

Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd. launches motion sickness remedy Travelmin in Japan.

1955~1965 Expansion・Public Listing・Growth By constantly raising the bar with each completed corporate vision,Eisai establishes itself as a popular midsize pharmaceutical maker.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 3 Building a Solid Corporate Foundation

1955

The company changes its name from Nihon Eisai Co., Ltd. to Eisai Co., Ltd., as it is known today.

“Origin of the Eisai Logomark”
1957

Eisai rolls out its first three-year mid-term plan.

Eisai's Head Office building is completed in Tokyo.

1961

Eisai opens its Taipei Office (now part of Eisai Taiwan Inc.), the company's first overseas branch, in Taiwan.

Eisai is publicly listed in the First Section of both the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges.

Gastrointestinal remedies Saclon and Saclon Tablets, recognizable for their distinct green hue even today, are launched in Japan.

1964

Toyoji Naito receives the Japan Marketing Award, which recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to marketing and advertising in Japan.

The Tokyo Olympics take place.

1966~1975 Rapid Growth・Success・Oil Crisis Eisai expands into Asia as a first step toward internationalization.Meanwhile, it continues to grow domestically based on in-house R&D.

エーザイの歩み - The Story of Eisai: Chapter 4 Eisai's Rapid Expansion

1966

The Kawashima Plant is completed in Gifu, central Japan.

Kawashima Plant opening ceremony

Founder Toyoji Naito is appointed as chairman and Yuji Naito as company president. A three-tier representative director system is introduced: Chairman Toyoji Naito, President Yuji Naito, and Executive Vice President Tatsuo Naito.

1969

Youda Co., Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical imports subsidiary in Taiwan.

1970

PT Eisai Indonesia is established as a pharmaceutical manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Indonesia.

Toyoji Naito resigns as representative director and chairman to assume director and honorary chairman roles.

1971

Toyoji opens the Naito Museum of Pharmaceutical Science and Industry, Japan's first pharmaceutical museum, in Gifu.

The Naito Museum of Pharmaceutical Science and Industry
1973 The first oil crisis occurs due to conflict in the Middle East.
1974

Eisai (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and Hi-Eisai Pharmaceutical Inc. are established as pharmaceutical sales subsidiaries in Malaysia and the Philippines, respectively.

Metabolic cardiotonic Neuquinon is launched in Japan.

1976~1986 Major Investment・Competition・Reform Bolstering development, production and sales infrastructure,the Eisai Group moves to take on the world market.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 5 Global Investment, Global Infrastructure

1977

Naturally derived vitamin E product Juvelux is launched in Japan.

Juvelux
1978

Eisai's founder Toyoji Naito passes away at age 89.

Peripheral neuropathy treatment Methycobal is launched in Japan.

1979

Eisai Asia Regional Services Pte. Ltd. is established as a sales support and management services subsidiary in Singapore.

The second oil crisis erupts due to the Iranian Revolution.

1981

Eisai U.S.A. Inc. is established as a chemical and pharmaceutical machinery sales subsidiary in California, the United States.

The Misato Plant commences pharmaceutical manufacturing in Saitama.

Large-scale automated sugar-coating equipment (pan diameter of up to 170 cm) at the Misato Plant
1982

The Tsukuba Research Laboratories open in Ibaraki, eastern Japan.

1983

Eisai Chemical Co., Ltd. (now Eisai's Kashima Plant) is established in Ibaraki to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

1984

Gastritis and gastric ulcer treatment Selbex is launched in Japan.

1987~2001 Globalization・Innovation・hhc Philosophy Eisai creates a new corporate vision befitting the 21st century: to become an R&D-based company fully dedicated to hhc.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 6 Breaking into the Top 20 Worldwide

1987

Eisai has supported of the Health and Medical Care Contributions Awards, which are presented to healthcare professionals who have contributed significantly to improving access to healthcare in difficult-to-reach areas from 1987 to 2015.

Eisai rolls out its first five-year mid-term plan.

Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc. (now the Boston Research Institute) is established as a discovery research subsidiary in Massachusetts, the United States.

Eisai Research Institute of Boston
1988

President Yuji Naito steps down from office and assumes the role of chairman; Vice President Haruo Naito is appointed president of Eisai.

“Passing of the baton” from Yuji Naito (right) to Haruo Naito (left)

Eisai America, Inc. is established as a clinical research subsidiary in New Jersey, the United States.

Eisai Europe Ltd. is established as a clinical research subsidiary in London, the United Kingdom.

1989

Eisai Machinery GmbH is established as a pharmaceutical machinery sales subsidiary in Cologne, former West Germany.

Eisai (Thailand) Marketing Co., Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Bangkok, Thailand.

1990

Haruo Naito announces Eisai's “Commitment to Innovation.”

Eisai London Research Laboratories, Ltd. is established as a discovery research subsidiary attached to University College London in the United Kingdom.

Japan's bubble economy bursts.

1991

Eisai Hong Kong Co., Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Hong Kong.

The Beijing Representative Office is established in Beijing, China.

Shenyang Eisai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is established as a Chinese–foreign contractual joint venture in pharmaceutical manufacturing and sales in Shenyang, China.

Eisai celebrates its 50th anniversary.

1992

Eisai adopts its current Corporate Mission and Corporate Objective.

Go to “What is hhc?”

Eisai Corporation of North America is established as a holding company in New Jersey, the United States.

Eisai London Research Laboratories, Ltd. is completed in the United Kingdom to form an Eisai Group multipolar R&D network spanning Japan, America and Europe.

Eisai London Research Laboratories opening ceremony in 1993 attended by the United Kingdom's Princess Royal, Princess Anne
1995

Eisai Inc. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in New Jersey, the United States.

Eisai Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in London, the United Kingdom.

Eisai Deutschland GmbH is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Frankfurt, Germany.

1996

Eisai S.A. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Paris, France.

Eisai Suzhou Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Jiangsu, China.

Elmed Eisai Co., Ltd. is established as a generic drug sales subsidiary in Tokyo.

1997

KAN Research Institute, Inc. is established as a life science exploratory research subsidiary in Osaka, Japan (now relocated to Hyogo).

Eisai Korea Inc. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Seoul, South Korea.

Eisai Inc. North Carolina Plant is established as a pharmaceutical manufacturing and formulation R&D facility at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, the United States.

Anti-Alzheimer's agent Aricept is launched in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Proton-pump inhibitor Pariet is launched in Japan.

1998

Aricept is launched in France.

Pariet is launched in Germany and the United Kingdom.

1999

Pariet is launched under the brand name AcipHex in the United States.

Aricept is launched in Japan.

2001

The 9/11 terrorist attacks occur in the United States.

Eisai Farmacéutica S.A. is established as a pharmaceutical sales and marketing subsidiary in Madrid, Spain.

2002–present Present-Day・Ambitious Leap・Future Path The Eisai Group continues to further its contributions to patients worldwide via innovative initiatives and improvements in global access to medicines.

The Story of Eisai: Chapter 7 An Ambitious Leap Forward

2002

Eisai Medical Research Inc. is established as a clinical research subsidiary in New Jersey, the United States.

2004

Eisai adopts the “Company with Committees” system.

Eisai Europe Ltd. is established as a European regional headquarters (holding company) in London, the United Kingdom.

Eisai Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Mumbai, India.

2005

Eisai S.r.l is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Milan, Italy.

Eisai Pharma AG is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Corporate Mission is added to the Eisai Articles of Incorporation.

Eisai AB is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Stockholm, Sweden.

Honorary chairman and Eisai's second president Yuji Naito passes away at age 85.

2006

Eisai rolls out its fifth mid-term plan, the “Dramatic Leap Plan.”

Eisai (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. and Eisai Clinical Research Singapore Pte. Ltd. are established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary and clinical research subsidiary, respectively, in Singapore.

Eisai acquires four anticancer agents from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. in the United States.

EF-Eisai Farmacêutica, Unipessoal Lda. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Lisbon, Portugal.

2007

Eisai Manufacturing Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical manufacturing subsidiary in Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom.

Eisai acquires Morphotek Inc., a bioventure specialized in antibody research, in the United States.

Eisai Pharmatechnology & Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd. is established as an API/formulation manufacturing and R&D subsidiary in Vizag, India.

Eisai SA/NV is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Brussels, Belgium.

2008

Eisai acquires MGI Pharma Inc., an oncology biopharmaceutical company in the United States.

Eisai Machinery Shanghai Inc. is established as a subsidiary in Shanghai, China to provide marketing support and maintenance services for pharmaceutical machinery.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira is launched in Japan.

2009

Eisai GesmbH is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Vienna, Austria.

The European Knowledge Centre opens as a European strategic base in Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom.

European Knowledge Centre

The Eisai Product Creation Systems organizational structure is introduced Group-wide to reflect a new focus on patient-oriented R&D.

Haruo Naito is appointed as president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations.

The Eisai Knowledge Centre, India opens as a manufacturing and process research base in Vizag, India.

Eisai Knowledge Centre, India
2010

The Koishikawa Knowledge Center opens in Tokyo and receives the 24th Nikkei New Office Promotion Award.

Koishikawa Knowledge Center

Eisai Limited is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Ontario, Canada.

Production headquarters transforms to a global “Eisai Demand Chain Systems” structure to reflect a new “demand-driven” customer satisfaction focus in drug manufacturing.

Eisai (Suzhou) Trading Co., Ltd. is established as a pharmaceutical trading subsidiary in Jiangsu, China.

Anticancer agent Halaven is launched in the United States.

Eisai signs a statement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to supply a primary lymphatic filariasis medicine free of charge.

H3 Biomedicine Inc. is established as a research subsidiary in the United States.

2011

The Great East Japan Earthquake strikes.

Eisai rolls out its sixth mid-term plan, “HAYABUSA.”

Eisai Participações Ltda. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in São Paulo, Brazil.

Halaven is launched in Europe and Japan.

Eisai Laboratorios S. de R.L. de C.V. is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Mexico City, Mexico.

2012

Eisai signs the London Declaration, which is committed to the elimination of ten neglected tropical diseases by 2020.

Haruo Naito is appointed as president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of Japan (FPMAJ).

Antiepileptic agent Fycompa is launched in Europe.

2013

Limited Liability Company Eisai is established as a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary in Moscow, Russia.

Eisai co-establishes the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), Japan's first public–private partnership to advance development of new health technologies for the developing world.

Antiobesity agent BELVIQ is launched in the United States.

Eisai initiates free of charge provision of diethylcarbamine tablets produced at its Vizag plant in India to WHO for use in the treatment of lymphatic filariasis.

2014

Fycompa is launched in the United States.

Eisai China Holdings Ltd. is established as a holding company in Suzhou, China.

2015

Anticancer agent Lenvima is launched in the United States, Japan and Europe.

Eisai initiates free of charge provision of Diethylcarbamazine citrate tablets for use in National Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Campaign in Indonesia.

Eisai completes acquisition of Chinese generic pharmaceutical company Liaoning Tianyi Biological Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (new trading name: Eisai (Liaoning) Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.)

2016

Eisai rolls out its seventh mid-term plan “EWAY2025”

EA Pharma Co., Ltd. is established as a gastrointestinal specialty pharmaceutical company.

Fycompa is launched in Japan.