Japanese drugmaker Santen has set up shop in the UK to help push its recently acquired glaucoma franchise from Merck & Co into the market.

The group said it has established a UK subsidiary to promote products such as Saflutan and Cosopt - purchased from Merck back in May for $600 million plus royalties - and help strengthen its footprint in Europe.

“The establishment of our own subsidiary in the UK is an important step in achieving our long term corporate vision to become a specialised pharmaceutical company with a global presence”, said Masamichi Sato, Head of Santen European Group and President of Santen Holding EU BV.

The move will allow the group to provide its complete portfolio of products throughout Europe, and the launch of commercial teams in other European countries such as Spain, Portugal or Benelux “is expected within the next few months,” he added.