A Few Asian Key Biopharmaceutical Companies

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Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutic substances produced using living organisms. According to Allied Market Research, the global biopharmaceuticals market accounted for approximately $186 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $526 billion by 2025. The Asia Pacific (APAC) harbors the third-largest biopharmaceutical market in the world — following North America and Europe — and is the fastest-growing. Research and Markets lists 18 significant players in the Asia Pacific biopharmaceutical market, which covers the regions of  India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and rest of APAC. Here we list the top 10 based on revenue, employees, and recent events.  

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

  • Location: Japan
  • Founded: 1781(Incorporated in 1925)
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $19,515
  • Employees: >45,000

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited operates in Japan, the United States, Europe and Canada, and some other Growth and Emerging Markets. It is engaged in research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, import and export of pharmaceutical drugs. The company’s areas of focus include oncology, rare diseases, neuroscience, gastroenterology, plasma-derived therapies, and vaccines. It tops the list based on its successful track record in terms of finances, global connectedness, and innovation. Recently, the company partnered with other global plasma leaders to accelerate the development and delivery of potential hyperimmune immunoglobulin therapy in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries 

  • Location: India
  • Founded: 1983
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $3,810
  • Employees: >30,000

Sun Pharma is the world’s fourth-largest specialty generic pharmaceutical company and India’s top pharmaceutical company with capabilities in research, development, and manufacturing. It has over 40 state-of-the-art manufacturing sites spanning  India, the US, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Hungary, Israel, Bangladesh, Mexico, Romania, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Malaysia. They produce generics, branded generics, specialty, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and antiretrovirals. The company has marketed over 2,000 products for diverse indications within psychiatry, anti-infectives, neurology, cardiology, orthopedic, diabetology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, nephrology, urology, dermatology, gynecology, respiratory, oncology, dental, and nutritionals. It recently entered a licensing agreement with Rockwell Medical, Inc. to commercialize Triferic in India to provide the region with an iron-replacement therapy to maintain hemoglobin in adult patients with hemodialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease.

Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila)

  • Location: India
  • Founded: 1952
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $1,725
  • Employees: >10,000

Cadila Healthcare specializes in manufacturing generic drugs and is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in India. The company manufactures and markets healthcare solutions ranging from formulations, active pharmaceutical ingredients, vaccines, diagnostics, health and dietetic foods, animal healthcare to cosmeceuticals. Cadila Healthcare has demonstrated its agility and capabilities and has emerged at the forefront of India’s fight against the novel coronavirus by currently developing two vaccine candidates, diagnostic kits, increasing hydroxychloroquine production, and most recently, started investigating Pegihep (Pegylated Interferon alfa-2b), which has been a treatment for Hepatitis B and C since 2011.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals 

  • Location: India
  • Founded: 1977
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $1,293
  • Employees: >10,000

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in India that spans the US, India, Europe, Latin America, and rest of the world to develop generic drugs and niche products within dermatology, respiratory, and oncology areas. The company has 15 manufacturing facilities across India, the US, Argentina, and the Czech Republic. The company’s stock recently surged due to the idea that it may become the first Indian company to develop an antiretroviral (ARV) used for the treatment of the novel coronavirus.

Torrent Pharmaceuticals 

  • Location: India
  • Founded: 1959
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $1,005
  • Employees: >10,000

Torrent Pharmaceuticals has a strong international presence spanning over 40 countries. It manufactures bulk drugs, develops pharmaceutical formulations, and performs end-to-end research and development activities to develop cardio-vascular, psychotropic, gastrointestinal, and antibiotic drugs. With eight manufacturing facilities, the company can create a robust pipeline of innovative medicines and drug delivery technologies.

Celltrion Healthcare

  • Location: South Korea
  • Founded: 2002
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $917
  • Employees: 1,000-5,000

Celltrion Healthcare is a globally known biopharmaceutical company based in South Korea that develops biosimilars with significant products being monoclonal antibodies to treat inflammatory disorders and oncology. It is known for launching the world’s first “antibody biosimilar” and has embarked on the development of a therapeutic antibody and a diagnostic kit in response to the current pandemic.


  • Location: India
  • Founded: 1978
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $723
  • Employees: 5,000-10,000

Biocon is an integrated biotechnology company with a presence in biopharmaceuticals, enzymes, custom research, and clinical research. The company manufactures specialty enzymes and new enzyme applications in addition to providing clinical and custom research services. Its products range from fermentation-derived small molecules to recombinant proteins and antibodies. Biocon is aggressively working towards developing a vaccine for COVID-19 and is preparing for plasma therapy development.

Samsung Biologics

  • Location: South Korea
  • Founded: 2011
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $570
  • Employees: 1,000-5,000

Samsung Biologics is a biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization that provides development, manufacturing, and research services. In addition to having the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the world, it is credited with providing expansive and flexible CDMO and CRO capabilities. Revenue for the three months of 2020 reached $168 million, up 65% on the year, and it recently became South Korea’s third-most-valuable company following the agreement with Vir Biotechnology on developing a coronavirus antibody therapeutic. 

Hualan Biological Engineering  

  • Location: China
  • Founded: 1992
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $522 
  • Employees: 1,000-5,000

Hualan Biological Engineering is a high-tech biopharmaceutical company that researches, develops, produces, and commercializes plasma products, viral vaccines, bacterial vaccines, and recombinant proteins and other biologics. Since its establishment, Hualan Bio has been one of China’s fastest-growing businesses and has obtained a global reputation. It was the first company to gain GMP certification in China for its plasma products and the first H1N1 Influenza Vaccine manufacturer in the world.

Beijing Tiantan Biological Products 

  • Location: China
  • Founded: 1998
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $463
  • Employees: 1,000-5,000

Beijing Tiantan Biological Products Corporation Limited was launched by the National Vaccine & Serum Institute (NVSI): China’s first research and manufacturing corporation for biological products.Beijing Tiantan Biological Products Corporation Limited researches, develops, and commercializes biologics. The company develops treatment for hepatitis and provides vaccine products, including hepatitis vaccines and rubella vaccines.

Beijing SL Pharmaceutical (SL Pharm)

  • Location: China
  • Founded: 1994
  • Estimated 2019 Revenue (Millions, USD): $306
  • Employees: 500-1000

Beijing SL Pharmaceutical develops, manufactures and markets genetic engineering drugs, biological drugs, chemical drugs, and has an annual production capacity of 20 million pharmaceutical injections and 200 million oral solid pharmaceutical products.

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