Leveraging experience and knowledge accumulated over many years as well as partnerships, Eisai develops its marketing activities globally to promptly maximize its contributions to patients.
Strength No. 1 : Accumulation and sharing of experience and knowledge from global marketing activities
Eisai’s greatest strength in marketing activities is the accumulation and sharing of experience and knowledge from its global marketing activities over many years.
Eisai’s history of overseas operation dates back to the foundation of a local affiliate company in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s. From the 1990s to the early 2010s, Eisai established pharmaceutical subsidiaries in major countries worldwide, including the U.S., Europe and China, in line with the expansion of Alzheimer's disease treatment Aricept ®and proton-pump inhibitor Pariet®. The basic structure of Eisai’s marketing activities is independent marketing or co-promotion with potent partners, placing emphasis on booking its own revenue. Eisai has never commissioned all of the marketing activities for in-house developed products to other companies in major countries. As the system and commercial practices related to pharmaceuticals vary by country, global marketing activities that the company develops on its own are always associated with difficulty. However, Eisai considers that it is important to overcome any difficulty and accumulate experience and knowledge to leverage for future growth. This is how Eisai has built a solid business foundation in Japan, the U.S., Europe, China and Asia.
The accumulated experience and knowledge of Eisai are shared on a global scale beyond the regional framework. For example, the experience and knowledge on disease awareness campaigns accumulated through the launch of Aricept® is shared globally. After the expiration of exclusivity for Aricept®, revenue has declined in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, but double-digit growth has been achieved in China and Asia in fiscal 2017 by enhancing disease awareness campaigns utilizing shared experience and knowledge. In addition, the marketing method for peripheral neuropathy treatment Methycobal® which was launched in the 1970s in Japan, has been succeeded in China. As a result, Methycobal® is the best-selling product, accounting for 33% of revenue for the China pharmaceutical business. Eisai believes this success story was achieved through the sharing of experience and knowledge from its own global marketing activities.
Strength No. 2 : Leveraging partnerships that enable prompt expansion of contributions to patients
As there are many patients in the world longing for treatment for their conditions, contributions to patients need to be expanded promptly following the launch of a new drug. In addition, it is important to quickly maximize contributions to patients from a business perspective since there is an expiration of the patent term covering a drug. Eisai’s independent marketing is an effective method to accumulate a lot of experience and knowledge, but it sometimes takes time to expand contributions to patients. Therefore, Eisai considers co-promotion with potent partners to be a highly effective method to expand contributions to patients.
In March 2018, Eisai and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. (“U.S. Merck”) reached a strategic collaboration agreement in the field of oncology for Lenvima®, an anticancer agent developed by Eisai. Based on this agreement, the companies are jointly developing and commercializing Lenvima® as monotherapy and in combination with anti-PD-1 antibody Keytruda® (generic name: pembrolizumab) developed by U.S. Merck. With this collaboration, the contribution to patients through Lenvima® can be promptly maximized in multiple cancer types, and revenue will significantly exceed an Eisai sole development/promotion case.
In neurology area, Eisai is collaborating with Biogen Inc. on the joint development and marketing of next-generation Alzheimer’s disease treatments. A number of preparations are required in the medical environment and social environment in order to smoothly launch and deliver next-generation Alzheimer’s disease treatments, which are currently under development. Eisai considers collaboration with Biogen Inc. is significant for preparation of these environments.
Strength No. 3 : Presence of multiple products developed in-house
Eisai’s three growth drivers, anticancer agents Lenvima® and Halaven®, and antiepileptic agent Fycompa®, are developed in-house. The products successfully developed by the employees of Eisai’s R&D division after overcoming many challenges are marketed passionately by the employees in the marketing division. In addition, as these products do not require payment such as royalties, the profit ratio of the products developed in-house by Eisai is higher than those of in-license products, thereby contributing considerably to performance.
In the 2000s, Aricept® and Pariet®, both developed in-house, supported Eisai’s growth. Cultivating new in-house products to replace Aricept® and Pariet® has become Eisai’s key issue.
Through joint development and commercialization of Lenvima® with U.S. Merck, revenue for Lenvima® is expected to greatly exceed a sole promotion case, with the potential to exceed the peak sales of Aricept® (322.8 billion yen in fiscal 2009). In addition, Eisai estimates that the potential of next-generation Alzheimer’s disease treatments under development, including BACE inhibitor elenbecestat (in-house) are very likely to exceed the peak revenue of Aricept®, considering the expected benefits. The presence of multiple products developed in-house is one of Eisai’s strengths and Eisai will further focus on the growth of these products.
Developing marketing activities on a global scale while identifying opportunities and threats
In emerging and developing countries, expansion of the pharmaceutical market is expected to continue accompanying economic growth and aging. On the other hand, pressure to lower drug prices is currently mounting in line with the promotion of policies to reduce expenditure on drugs in many countries including Japan. In addition, market entry of breakthrough competing products may result in reduced revenue of Eisai’s products.
Opportunities and threats vary among markets, and identifying them is important. Eisai utilizes its accumulated experience and knowledge as well as partnerships to accurately identify opportunities and threats in each market, and develops its marketing activities on a global scale in order to promptly maximize contributions to patients in each country.