Ophthalmology Is Our Singular Focus

We Are Constantly Exploring New Possibilities In Eye Care.

icon

HISTORY OF SANTEN

 

1890

Heburin-gan and the founding of Santen

Founder Kenkichi Taguchi opens Taguchi Santendo in Kitahama, Osaka. Santen's main product at the time of establishment was a cold medication called Heburin-gan.

 

1899

The first eye drops of the Company Daigaku Eye Drops launched

It's said that many physicians who came to Japan from abroad during the Meiji Period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century were astonished at the prevalence of eye disorders among the people of the country. This observation was indicative of the large demand for ophthalmics at the time. To respond to this potential market, Santen launched the Daigaku Eye Drops brand. The ambitious ad campaign for this new product featured the catchphrase "A great eye drop for a rapidly modernizing society" along with the image of a distinguished college professor sporting a full beard and glasses. This trademarked image soon became extremely popular nationwide.

 

1925

Operations incorporated as Santendo Co., Ltd. Chuko Mita is appointed first president

To develop its business, Santendo Co., Ltd. is established with Chuko Mita as its first president. Major products at that time include Heburin-gan, Daigaku Eye Drops, Santen Cough Medicine, and constipation treatment Kentsu-gan.

 

1935

Opening of the Yodogwa Plant

Yodogawa Plant established in Higashi Yodogawa-ku, Osaka (where the Head Office is subsequently established). When it first commenced operations, the plant mainly produced eye drops, menthol creams, antacids, gastrointestinal medication, antipyretics, antihelminthics, antidiarrheals, analgesics, antitussives and minor wound medication, among other types of drugs.

 

1952

Daigaku Penicillin Eye Drops, Daigaku Mycillin Eye Drops, and Daigaku Super Eye Drops launched in 1952, 1953, and 1954, respectively

Launch of a business strategy focusing on eye drops for corporate reconstruction.

 

1958

Expansion into the prescription drug market

Company renamed as Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (current name). Now accounting for more than 90% of all corporate sales, the prescription drug business (in other words, the manufacturing and marketing of drugs prescribed by health care establishment) has grown to become Santen's core enterprise. In 1962, Santen acquired the domestic marketing rights for the mydriatic Midorin-P (generic name: tropicamide) from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche and began sales of this treatment in Japan. A groundbreaking drug that promotes mydriasis, or dilation of the pupil, Midorin-P contributed to the advancement of ophthalmic surgery and diagnosis and helped Santen enhance its stature in the field of prescription ophthalmics.

 

1962

The launch of Super Sante the introduction of Japan's first plastic eye drop container

Eye drops used to be packaged in glass containers, which had its drawbacks. These containers were difficult and expensive to produce in large volumes because they were hand-made and also had a tendency to break at times. The new Super Sante featured Japan's first plastic eye drop container that was easy to carry and use. The product along with its unique container became widely popular among consumers and triggered a rapid expansion of eye drop sales in Japan.

 

1977

Listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Osaka Securities Exchange

In this year, Santen increased its capitalization to 1,102 million yen and achieved a sales record of 9,000 million yen.

 

1985

Noto Plant established
The Noto Plant was Santen's first production base equipped with a factory automation system, and evolved to become one of the world's largest eye drop manufacturing operations. The plant is currently Santen's flagship factory and produces top-selling ophthalmics such as Cravit and Hyalein.

 

1990

Long-term vision drawn up for Santen's 100th anniversary

On the centennial of Santen's founding, the Company announces its long-term vision: "To contribute to society with the best products and services focusing on the eye and health"; and devises management objectives focusing on becoming " a world-class company" and a "leader in all areas of ophthalmic treatments".

 

1992

TAHMIN SANTEN CO., LTD. established in Taiwan
 

1993

Subsidiary Santen Inc. established in the U.S.

U.S. subsidiary Santen Inc. established. Santen Inc. conducts R&D, business development and strategic marketing activities in the U.S.

 

1996

Nara Research and Development Center and Shiga Plant opened

 

2000

Santen Pharmaceutical Korea, Co., Ltd. established
 

2007

Suzhou Plant established in China
 

2010

Santen Pharmaceutical Korea Co., Ltd. commenced marketing
 

2011

Santen India Private Limited established
 

2012

Santen Holdings EU B.V. established as a holding company

 

2013

Santen Pharmaceutical Asia Pte.Ltd. established in Singapore
Ho Chi Minh Representative Office established

 

2014

Established subsidiaries in Switzerland, Italy, the U.K., Spain, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines

 

2016

Established SANTEN PHARMACEUTICAL (HONG KONG) LIMITED

 

2018

Established INDONESIA REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE

 

TODAY

Santen has grown into a leading ophthalmic pharmaceutical company in the world and the top manufacturer of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in Japan. Sales of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals account for over 80% of Santen's total net sales.

Read more about Santen’s History