Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi has set up in Europe and located its first headquarters for the region in London.
Leading the company's expansion as CEO, Europe will be Takashi Takenoshita who joins Shionogi from McKinsey & Co, where he was a partner in its healthcare practice.
The company plans to quickly expand the number of employees in London and has already made several key appointments, including Dr Marco Renoldi, Dr Suhail Nurbhai, Dr Mark Sampson, Nina Strenitz and Joe Gaugas.
Dr Renoldi joins Shionogi as chief commercial officer, Europe from Amgen, where he was executive director of oncology overseeing the US biotech's oncology business outside the US. Prior to joining Amgen in 2003 he held roles with Searle and Novartis' generics business Sandoz.
Shionogi has appointed Dr Nurbhai as head of development for Europe. He was most recently vice president and head of clinical science for Takeda Global R&D, Europe.
Prior to working at Takeda, a fellow Japanese company that set up its own European headquarters in the UK six years ago, Dr Nurbhai spent three years at a Boston, Massachusetts-based start-up company and before that he worked for 12 years in clinical development for Pfizer.
Shionogi has also appointed former senior director of internal medical affairs at Gilead Dr Sampson as its new head of medical affairs and Joe Gaugas joins as head of regulatory affairs from Pfizer, where he spent more than 16 years in R&D.
In addition, the firm has appointed Nina Strenitz from McKinsey's EMEA healthcare practice to be its head of market access.
Establishing the firm's European operations, which will be known as Shionogi Limited, forms part of Shionogi's five-year plan to expand its business worldwide.
Takashi Takenoshita, CEO of Shionogi Europe, said: “We aim to achieve our mission as a company with a strong presence in Europe, which conducts business operations recognised by patients, their families, healthcare providers and broader communities.”
The company said London was chosen for its European HQ due to its good business infrastructure and support, pool of exceptional talent and easy access to the rest of Europe.
It also puts Shionogi's new regional HQ in its most important European market. Last year the firm made $793m in Europe, almost 99 per cent of which came from sales in the UK.
Shionogi's heritage in research, development, manufacturing and marketing of medicines stretches over 130 years and encompasses the invention of Crestor, the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug that was licensed to AstraZeneca in 1998.
Shionogi's current research and development focus is on infectious disease, pain and metabolic syndrome.