Japan's Shionogi has launched its new European headquarters in London, a move which it says marks "a new era for the company as it expands its global business into Europe".

Shiniogi, arguably best known as the company which discovered the lipid-lowerer Crestor (atorvastatin), has been in business for over 130 years and  after establishing a stronger presence in the USA in the last few years, it is now targeting Europe. Chief executive Isao Teshirogi (pictured here with Lord Darzi and London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse at the launch) said the move will help Shionogi work more closely with European scientists "to discover and develop new clinical solutions".

The Osaka-based firm says it chose London for its European headquarters "following an extensive review of potential locations on the continent as well as within the UK". Takashi Takenoshita, the chief executive of Shionogi Europe, told PharmaTimes World News that the final decision came down to London or Zurich but the former won out thanks to its business infrastructure, the high level of scientific expertise in UK acadaemia and   a pleasant living environment, plus transport links to the rest of Europe.

Boost for life sciences in London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said that "Shionogi will make a fantastic addition to London's growing life sciences sector, which benefits from our top class universities and research centres, direct access to huge markets, a skilled cosmopolitan workforce, and fantastic connectivity".

The decision by Shionogi to come to London is indeed a major boost for the capital and its life science businesses. The sector is a key growth driver for the city according to London & Partners, the mayor’s promotional and business development agency. Central government has committed £800 million to the life sciences sector over the next five years with London expected to receive around half of this.

London & Partners also noted that for 22 years running, the capital has been voted Europe’s Best City For Business.