Japanese companies Fujisawa and Yamanouchi have put the officially seal on their $7.7 billion dollar merger, and have today become Astellas – Japan’s second largest drugmaker.

In the medium-term, the company is concentrating its research efforts on diabetes, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, and disorders of the central nervous system, on top of its existing franchises in urology, inflammatory disorders and immunology. Its top-selling drug will be Fujisawa’s Prograf (tacrolimus) immunosuppressant, which generated nine-month sales of some 96.1 billion yen.

The company is targeting drug sales of 1 trillion yen in the 2007 financial year, coupled with an operating income of 250 billion yen. Research and development expenses are expected to come in at around 145 billion yen.

The merger, which was first announced back in February last year [[24/02/04a]], has triggered a wave of consolidation in the Japanese pharmaceutical marketplace. Dianippon and Sumitomo are planning to integrate their businesses later this year [[26/11/04c]], and Sankyo confirmed earlier this year that is has agreed to buy Daiichi Pharmaceutical in a deal worth almost $8 billion dollars [[25/02/05a]].