LONDON, March 26 AstraZeneca has raised
its bet on Japan's drug market by buying out the remaining stake
held by Sumitomo Chemical in its Japanese unit
The British group said on Wednesday the purchase of the
shares cost approximately 10 billion yen ($102 million) and
reinforced its focus on Japan as a key growth platform.
Japan, the world's second-largest pharmaceuticals market
after the United States, is an increasingly important country
for Western drugmakers.
In the past, it has been a tough market for foreign drug
firms to crack, but recent steps to speed up the approval
process have opened the door to a raft of commercially important
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Potter)