Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.

Stock Exchange: XTKS Ticker: 4568 HQ: TOKYO, JAPAN Employees: 15,249


Daiichi Sankyo’s vaccine business is currently focused on the Japanese market, and there is evidence it is increasing its focus on vaccine R&D. Its pipeline includes combination vaccines for diseases recommended by WHO for routine immunisation for children. Daiichi Sankyo performs below average in Research & Development, with a relatively small pipeline and no access plans in place for late-stage projects. Daiichi Sankyo currently markets vaccines only in Japan, and not in countries in scope. It states that it has processes for preventing vaccine shortages, including coordinating supply plans with stakeholders and scaling up production capacity. The company is partnering with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build the vaccine manufacturing capacity of POLYVAC in Vietnam. It is part-way through a five-year project to provide technical cooperation for the production of a measles and rubella combination vaccine (started in 2013).

Index performance by Research Area - Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.

Daiichi Sankyo was evaluated in one Research Area: Research & Development

Sales and operations

Daiichi Sankyo has four business units: innovative pharmaceuticals; generics; vaccines; and over-the-counter medicines. For its entire portfolio, Daiichi Sankyo has sales in 44 countries in scope of the Index. Its vaccines business unit comprises Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine Co., Ltd., which is responsible for R&D, production and sales, and Japan Vaccine Co., Ltd. (a joint venture with GSK), which conducts late-phase clinical development and sales. Daiichi Sankyo has 11 marketed vaccines.

Sales in countries in scope (all product types)

Number of doses sold in 2015

Sales by segment 2015

Vaccine portfolio

Daiichi Sankyo has 11 vaccines on the market for nine diseases in scope. Its portfolio focuses on traditional childhood vaccines, including for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella (including four combination vaccines). It also has a seasonal influenza vaccine and two pandemic influenza vaccines.

Marketed vaccines


Continue strong investments in R&D. As the company’s vaccine business grows, Daiichi Sankyo can continue to make vaccine R&D investments that represent a high proportion of its vaccine revenue in vaccine R&D. This will help the long-term sustainability of its vaccine business.

Expand manufacturing capacity building activities. Daiichi Sankyo can build on its experience in providing technical cooperation, for example to POLYVAC in Vietnam, to undertake further vaccine manufacturing capacity building activities with manufacturers in other countries in scope of the Index.

Direct efforts towards product attributes that address key barriers to access. As its discovery-stage projects progress, factors such as cost of production, dose schedule, dose presentation and temperature stability need to be considered to address barriers to access. This process can be facilitated by working with external stakeholders to identify what product attributes are most desirable to address population needs, balanced with technical considerations.

Make investigational vaccines, if approved, accessible in countries in scope. This involves making commitments and developing strategies as early in development as possible to ensure vaccines are accessible, once on the market. Aligning these plans with those of vaccine procurers and other stakeholders will help ensure the company meets access needs, and provide it with greater predictability regarding the future market for these vaccines.

Expand processes for responding to vaccine shortages. As Daiichi Sankyo expands its vaccines business beyond Japan, it can work with relevant national and global health stakeholders to help expand and adapt its current processes for preventing and responding to vaccine shortages. A structured and predictable process will support the company’s engagement with national and global health stakeholders and help ensure sustainability.

Research & Development

Proportionally high R&D investments. As a proportion of its global vaccine revenue, Daiichi Sankyo made relatively high investments into vaccine R&D targeting diseases in scope in 2014 and 2015, compared to other companies in scope.

Relatively small vaccine pipeline. Daiichi Sankyo has eight R&D projects, including a vaccine candidate for seasonal influenza: influenza is prioritised by WHO for vaccine R&D. It also has two combination vaccine candidates (DTPHibIPV and MMR).

No evidence of access provisions. Daiichi Sankyo does not provide evidence that it has access provisions for its two late-stage R&D projects.

Vaccine pipeline

Daiichi Sankyo has the largest number of discovery-stage vaccine R&D projects among companies evaluated. 

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