Pharma Focus Asia

Blackstone Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire AYUMI Pharmaceutical

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Blackstone announced today that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AYUMI Pharmaceutical Corporation (“AYUMI” or “the Company”), a leading specialty pharmaceutical company in Japan focused on Anti-Rheumatism and Orthopedics, from Unison Capital, an independent private equity firm based in Japan, and M3, Inc., a medical information site business.

AYUMI was established in 2015 through the integration of Santen Pharmaceutical’s (“Santen”) anti-rheumatic drug business and Showa Yakuhin Kako’s (“Showa”) medical business including its analgesic portfolio. The Company is one of the leading specialty pharmaceutical platforms in Japan focused on the rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) and orthopedic therapeutic areas.

AYUMI’s flagship analgesic product, Calonal, is the market leading prescription acetaminophen drug with strong brand awareness among doctors, pharmacists, and patients in Japan. As a well-established product in the market, Calonal is a leading prescription of choice among physicians given its effective and safe treatment of chronic pain for patients across numerous disease areas. Furthermore, AYUMI is a market leader in the RA field, offering a comprehensive portfolio of first-in-line treatments through synthetic and biosimilar products which are prescribed to patients across all stages of RA diagnoses. AYUMI has established itself as a leader in the rapidly growing Japanese biosimilar market, which is expected to be an important and growing treatment method that is both highly effective and economical for patients and the national health insurance system.

Atsuhiko Sakamoto, Senior Managing Director and Head of Japan Private Equity at Blackstone, commented: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with AYUMI. Under the leadership of its seasoned management team, AYUMI has established a robust foundation as a leading specialty pharmaceutical company in the field of rheumatism and orthopedics – with world-class medical and scientific capabilities. We look forward to working with the Company to leverage Blackstone’s global footprint and expertise in this sector to help AYUMI meet the growing need for its RA and orthopedic products, invest in new, cutting-edge treatments and products, and continue supporting the Company’s mission of improving patient health.”

Ouchi Hikaru, Representative Director, President and CEO of AYUMI, commented: “It is a great honor to announce our new partnership with Blackstone to further accelerate our growth. Although we have already established a strong platform of growth in partnership with Unison Capital, from orthopedic therapeutic areas to RA areas and further through the new introduction of biosimilar products, we will need more investment for future growth. We have great expectations for our new shareholder in order to further enhance our presence in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and to continue providing drug treatments that contribute to patients and to society.”

The acquisition would mark Blackstone’s first control private equity investment in Japan. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

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