European History


In April 2023 we opened our new Canadian affiliate, part of the European Daiichi Sankyo region.


Conditional approval of Daiichi Sankyo’s first oncological product in Europe in January 2021.


Bempedoic acid and a fixed-dose combination of bempedoic acid and ezetimibe are approved in the European Union in April 2020, and later introduced into the first market in late 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched a variety of relief efforts across Europe. 


Conclusion of a Europe-wide commercial licensing agreement with Esperion for the marketing of oral once-daily bempedoic acid and the fixed combination of bempedoic acid with ezetimibe.


Edoxaban, an oral factor Xa-inhibitor, is approved in the European Union and introduced in the first markets.


Daiichi Sankyo acquires the biopharmaceutical company Ambit Biosciences. At our German plant in Pfaffenhofen near Munich a new building for Pharmaceutical Development is inaugurated providing 100 employees who work here with a state-of-the-art environment on 5,000 square meters.


We present Phase III results of the Hokusai-VTE study for treatment and prevention of recurrence of venous thromboembolism at the European Society of Cariology (ESC) congress in Amsterdam with its oral, once-daily factor Xa inhibitor edoxaban. A few months later we announce the results from the ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 study, a global Phase III trial which evaluated the prevention of stroke and systemic embolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation.


After the big earthquake and the tsunami in Japan we offer strong support for our colleagues in Japan, e.g. by taking over production of drugs by our Pfaffenhofen facility.  

We also launch an aid initiative called “Daiichi Sankyo Children Aid” to help Japanese children severely affected by the earthquake disaster.


We continue our growth strategy by opening new affiliates in Ireland and Turkey. The latter has been the fastest growing pharmaceutical market in Europe that time. We also substantially increase our field force capacity by taking over sales representatives from Merck Serono in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey. As a result, the number of employees in Europe grows from about 1,700 in 2007 to nearly 2,500 in 2010.


An oral antiplatelet agent to prevent atherothrombotic events, Efient®, is launched in several European countries. The medication is based on the active ingredient prasugrel.


To strengthen our oncology pipeline, we acquire the biotech company U3 Pharma in Martinsried, Germany.

In addition, we lay the foundation for further growth in Europe by acquiring the marketing rights for the osteoporosis drug Evista® (with the active ingredient raloxifene) from Eli Lilly and Company.

Moreover, the number of field force employees is significantly increased by taking on highly qualified people from Merck Serono in various European countries.


Further investments were made in the German production site in Pfaffenhofen, with additional, state-of-the-art facilities being opened in 2007.


Daiichi Sankyo Europe is founded as the new European headquarters on 1 July 2006 in Munich. Business activities in the United Kingdom and Germany are integrated.


Sankyo and Daiichi establish a joint holding company in Japan named Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited. The European merger follows one year later.


Sankyo launches olmesartan, a strategic global product for the treatment of hypertension. It is promoted as Olmetec® in Europe and as Benicar® in the United States.

To further expand our company’s European presence, Sankyo acquires Paris-based Laboratories Fornet in 2002 and gaines access to the French market, one of Europe’s major pharmaceutical markets.


In 1997, Luitpold-Werk is renamed as Sankyo Pharma.


Sankyo acquires Luitpold-Werk and thus gains a presence in Europe and Latin America.


Sankyo establishes two international subsidiaries: one in New York and one in Düsseldorf (Germany). This allows the company to conduct overseas clinical trials, which are required for the international approval of newly developed drugs. In addition, Luitpold founds an affiliate in Austria, marking the company’s business start in this country.


From 1981 to 1986, the establishment of subsidiaries in the United States, Portugal and the United Kingdom further increases Luitpold’s international presence. Still managed by the founding family, the Luitpold company has no successor in place to take over the family business.


From 1962 onwards, the Luitpold-Werk increases its international presence and establishes affiliates in Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and Italy. Moreover, a second production site is built in Altkirch, France. At that time, this site is one of the most modern facilities in the Alsace region, and it receives several awards for its high environmental standards.


At the end of the Second World War, business activities have to be halted for several weeks. But, in a matter of months, Luitpold-Werk manages to master the difficult post-war business environment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Luitpold establishes new offices in Munich and new production facilities in Pfaffenhofen.


In 1943, Munich is bombed, and the facilities on Zielstattstrasse are destroyed. Nevertheless, business activities continue as far as possible, and the individual departments move to ten temporary offices and laboratories across the city. As a result of these changes, the company decides to build new production facilities about 60 kilometres north of Munich in Pfaffenhofen.


By 1942, the number of employees has risen to about 300, even though raw materials are hard to obtain and export is limited.


The Luitpold-Werk start its business activities with ten employees in an office in Munich. The company enjoys stable growth and moves several times before establishing its first factory on Munich’s Zielstattstrasse in 1928 – the same street where our European headquarters are located today. By the time the factory has opened, the number of employees has increased to more than 100. Luitpold’s products consist primarily of digestive enzymes in the early years and are shipped to about 50 countries around the world.


Our roots in Europe can be traced back to Luitpold-Werk, a pharmaceutical company founded on 22 January 1910 in Munich, Germany.

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