Eisai is looking to make its mark in Latin America and is setting up a subsidiary in Brazil.

The Japanese drugmaker notes that Eisai Brazil is to be based in Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city, and its first task will be to establish "an initial infrastructure to support its operations debut" into that market. The company’s areas of commercial focus will include neurology, oncology and critical care.

Hajime Shimizu, president of new markets and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Eisai, said the establishment of the unit "marks our entry into Latin America”. He added that the expansion "will enable us to introduce many of Eisai’s first-in-class products to people living in Brazil".

Last month, the Tokyo-headquartered group announced that it plans to expand its presence in the emerging markets, notably China, though it targeted Brazil, Russia and Canada as areas of growth, though it has no direct presence in the last three markets yet. The strategy was unveiled along with a streamlining and refocusing of its US and European operations.

As a result, headcount in the USA will go from 1,600 to 1,000 by the end of fiscal year 2015 (ie March 2016), and 200 jobs will be cut in Europe to around 700. Some 100 will go in Japan.