Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that fully-fledged operations have begun at Eisai Pharmaceuticals Africa (Pty) Ltd (“Eisai South Africa”), a pharmaceutical sales subsidiary recently established in Johannesburg, South Africa, and direct sales operations and business activities have commenced in Africa. Eisai South Africa is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai.


South Africa has a population of about 60 million, with the largest pharmaceutical market in Sub-Saharan Africa at 3.477 billion USD in 2022, exhibiting an average growth rate of 6% in local currency terms from 2018 to 2022.1 In 2017, Eisai started selling Eisai products in South Africa through local distribution partners, marketing anticancer drugs Halaven® and Lenvima®, and the antiepileptic drug Fycompa®. Eisai South Africa was established in May 2022, and took over the marketing authorization approvals for those products from the local distribution partners. Eisai South Africa has started sales and marketing activities directly for Lenvima and Fycompa from January 2024, as well as Halaven from February 2024. Additionally, the market launch of anti-insomnia drug Dayvigo® is planned for June 2024. Eisai South Africa plans to expand sales of these products to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Moreover, a regulatory filing for Alzheimer’s disease treatment LEQEMBI® in South Africa is scheduled in FY2023 ending March 31, 2024.


Kenya Branch, Eisai Pharmaceuticals Africa (Pty) Ltd (“Eisai Kenya”), established in October 2022 in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya, as a branch of Eisai South Africa, will expand access to new treatments such as Halaven and Fycompa in Kenya and other East African Community (EAC) countries, such as Tanzania and Uganda through local distribution partners. Eisai Kenya will also serve as a site for collaboration with research institutes, such as Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), an important local partner in the global health field of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and malaria, one of Eisai’s focus areas, and the Nagasaki University Institute of Tropical Medicine’s Kenya Research Station, to further expand networks of people and promote R&D and access to medicines.


With the rapid economic growth and improvement of the medical environment in Africa in recent years, the average life expectancy is increasing, and there is expected to be a growing demand for cancer and dementia treatments. Meanwhile, improving access to medicines for NTDs, which cause a vicious cycle of poverty and infectious diseases in endemic areas, potentially hindering economic growth, is also an imminent challenge. Seeking solutions to these challenges in Africa, Eisai will continue its initiatives to deliver necessary medicines to the patients who need them through Eisai South Africa and Eisai Kenya.


Media Inquiries:

Public Relations Department,

Eisai Co., Ltd.



[Notes to editors]

1.  Outline of Eisai South Africa
 1) Company Name:          Eisai Pharmaceuticals Africa (Pty) Ltd

 2) Location:                 Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

 3) Scope of Business:       Import and marketing of pharmaceutical products

 4) Charter Capital:            36.5 million rand (about 300 million JPY)

 5) Shareholder:                 Eisai Co., Ltd.

 6) Date of Establishment:  May 18, 2022 (local time)


  Outline of Eisai Kenya
 1) Branch Name:              Kenya Branch, Eisai Pharmaceuticals Africa (Pty) Ltd

 2) Location:                      Nairobi, Republic of Kenya

 3) Scope of Business:    Import and marketing of pharmaceutical products, collaboration with partners and activities for SDGs (provisional)

 4) Date of Establishment:  October 3, 2022 (local time)


2.  About the Pharmaceutical Market in South Africa
South Africa has a population of about 60 million and achieved a real GDP growth rate of 1.91% in 2022. The South Africa, the largest pharmaceutical market in Sub-Saharan Africa, was 3.477 billion USD in 2022 and has shown high average growth rate of 6% on its local currency basis from 2018 to 2022. 1 South Africa is assumed to have 15,491 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, 2,435 liver cancer patients, and 1,305 thyroid cancer patients in 2020, 2 as well as almost 680,000 people affected by epilepsy. 3 The South African government is working to restructure its healthcare system, including the planned implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI) from 2012 to 2025, to ensure universal healthcare access to quality health services for all citizens.


  1. 3.  About Eisai's Commitment to Improving Global Access to Medicines

Eisai’s corporate concept is “to give first thought to patients and the people in the daily living domain, and to increase the benefits that health care provides to them”. Under this concept, Eisai aims to effectively achieve social good in the form of relieving anxiety over health and reducing health disparities. One social good that Eisai is focusing on is the elimination of NTDs, which is a target (3.3) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the aim of reducing healthcare disparities.

Since 2010, Eisai has been working on the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF), an NTD, through free provision of LF treatment and disease awareness with global partners such as the WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Also, Eisai is moving ahead with new drug development projects targeting malaria and NTDs such as mycetoma and LF, based on partnerships with international non-profit organizations such as the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), as well as research organizations such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Kentucky, and the Broad Institute.

Furthermore, Eisai co-established 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.


1 Created Based on IQVIA World Review Analyst 2023, Data Period 2018-2022 (Copyright ©2024 IQVIA.). Reprinted with permission.

2 Cancer Today (accessed on December 8, 2023)

3 Epilepsy & Behavior Volume 118, May 2021, 107910 “Epilepsy surgery in Africa: state of the art and challenges”