Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc., the first company in the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group, was founded as a maker of chemical compounds in 1921 in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. The company entered the pharmaceuticals business in 1946 with the production and sales of intravenous solutions. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (OPC), established in 1964 as the core company in the Group, was initially engaged in marketing intravenous solutions and other products. In 1971 OPC became engaged in new drug development and in 1980 successfully launched a new ?-blocker and a bronchodilator. Subsequently, OPC has developed a host of innovative new drugs around the world, including an antiplatelet agent, an anti-gastritis & anti-gastric ulcer agent, and an antipsychotic formula. Through our Nutraceuticals business OPC also develops consumer products for the maintenance of day-to-day health. Pocari Sweat, launched in 1980, was followed by Calorie Mate, Amino-Value, and other original OPC products that have pioneered new market categories.
Our international expansion began with the establishment of Thai Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and an office in the U.S.A. in 1973. In Asia and the Middle East, the group is currently active in the pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals business in 10 countries and regions. In 1981, OPC entered into Japan-China joint venture, establishing China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. At present, 18 group companies are based in China. In the U.S., the establishment of Pharmavite LLC in 1988 and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. in 1989 formed the foundation for development of pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals businesses in the U.S.A. In Europe, a Spanish pharmaceuticals company joined Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group in 1979, and we established a clinical research office in Frankfurt, Germany in 1982. In 1998, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd. was established as the headquarters for group activities throughout Europe, and subsidiaries have been opened in various countries for promotion of the pharmaceuticals business in Europe. At present, the group consists of 106 companies, employing 33,000 people in 18 countries and regions around the world.