CRO Biorasi on East-Asian expansion: Why Japan, and where to next?

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Japan Asia

Japan’s proximity to China, pharmaceutical infrastructure, and workforce capabilities helped inform Biorasi’s decision to launch regional headquarters in Tokyo, says executive.

The contract research organization (CRO) announced​ it had opened the Japan office – which will command clinical operations in Eastern Asia – last week.

According to chief marketing officer Alex Mouraviskiy, the office will help nourish an established trend of Western pharmaceutical firms partnering with Japanese companies, to enter the Asian market.

These partnerships give “a foothold for Western companies looking to penetrate the growing Asia-Pacific markets at the same time as Japanese pharma companies are reaching out more to find international markets for their own domestic drugs,” ​he told us.

According to Mouraviskiy, it is a natural win-win partnership: “Western countries need access to the Asia Pacific market and the large stores of capital that Japanese pharma companies have access to, and Japanese companies need access to the larger global market in order to grow.”

Japan’s location next to China – which Mouraviskiy described as the “largest pharma market of the future”​ – is also attractive to sponsors, he told us. 

'Not a cost issue'

Japan’s workforce and infrastructure makes it an attractive option within Asia for sponsors looking to enter a new market, said the executive, listing Daiichi Sankyo, Takeda and Otsuka as Japan-headquartered players in the industry.

Japan has “fantastic infrastructure (mitigating some of the issues of working in/with India) and has been opening up to Western countries (as well as domestic upstarts) over the past few years,” ​he added.

“So it’s not so much a cost issue, as outsourcing to India and South-East Asia has often been, but rather an opportunity to partner with a collection of very impressive pharmaceutical companies that has been working parallel to Western companies for a long time,” ​he told us.

Where to next?

When asked about plans for further expansion, Mouraviskiy told us the firm does not have any single destination in mind.

However said, “The obvious areas to expand our coverage would be Latin America, Africa, Australia, or maybe expanding our presence in England as a result of the Brexit decision.”

Ultimately, Biorasi places importance on organic growth and responded to increased sponsor demand, said Mouraviskiy: “Wherever our sponsors need us to be a strong local presence will be where we open our next office.” 

Related topics Clinical Development

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