About the company

Pharma Asset Research (PAR) facilitates business development and growth of pharmaceutical companies

Pharma Asset Research Inc. is named after three businesses in which the founder had been engaged prior to establishing the company, specifically Pharmaceuticals, Asset Management, and Investment Research. We monitor changes in the global pharmaceutical industry and analyze events and their background in order to identify the underlying fundamental causes for the changes as well as to forecast the future.

The company maintains a unique web-based library on pharmaceutical companies, offering indispensable intelligence necessary for management and investment in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • The extensive, in-depth data are maintained and updated on four inter-linked sites: 1) Companies, 2) New drugs (R&D in therapeutics and pharmacology), 3) Market, and 4) Industry. For ease and speed of access, these data have been categorized and stored under various key sub-titles, such as alliance, M&A, and diversification on the “Industry” site, and, for example, melanoma, NSCLC, and PD-1 inhibitor on the "New drugs (Therapeutics / Pharmacology)" sites.

  • We call the linked sites a library. The Pharma-Asset Library or PAR library, is operated on Google Sites platform with easy-to-use navigation tools designed to help you instantly find the relevant data. The Google navigation system allows you to feel as if you are flying over a target freely and taking snapshots from any angle you wish.

Our Point of View

Accelerated growth of the global pharmaceutical industry

A quantum leap in life sciences has accelerated growth in the pharmaceutical industry. At the same time, the rapid elevation of scientific requirements in new drug discovery has put most pharmaceutical companies (with only conventional technologies at hand) in a position where they are faced with too high of a hurdle to surmount. Reorganization and concentration of the pharmaceutical industry through vigorous M&A in the US and Europe seems to be the only workable solution for the challenges seen thus far.

The number of so-called Mega-Pharma companies came to more than 20 prior to 2000; the number today has nearly halved to a dozen or so. The degree of industrial concentration in the pharmaceutical industry is nearly equal to automobiles. As seen in the aircraft industry, the number of global pharmaceutical players could potentially decline to five or so, a possibility that was made clear to industry watchers in early 2014 when US-based Pfizer tried to acquire UK-based AstraZeneca.

A shift from small molecules to large molecules

Japanese pharmaceutical companies have also grown in order to keep pace with advances in medical science, but their presence in the global industry has diminished rapidly. In 2010, there were eight prescription drugs of Japanese origin among the Global Top 50. The number of Japanese pharmaceutical products in the Global Top 50 halved to four by 2015 and is likely to drop further to only one by 2017, and maybe even to none thereafter.

Japanese companies in the early 2000s were very successful in innovating new drugs to treat chronic, lifestyle related diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, peptic ulcers, and mood disorders. These drugs are “small molecule (chemical) drugs sold to a large (general practitioners’) market.” Together with patent expirations for those chemical drugs, the focus of growth has shifted to various small markets with unmet medical needs. Medicines to meet segmented markets are mostly large molecule, biopharmaceuticals.

Antibodies and genes are vital elements in exploring the frontier of new drug discovery today. Only a few companies in Japan have a technical edge in this new area and the wherewithal to keep pace with the rapid expansion of this frontier. The shift from small molecules to large molecules has spurred integration and concentration among global mega-pharma companies. These companies are now very large, and at the same time are well organized to meet the challenges of the various segmented markets.

Biotechnology assets are under-utilized in Japan

Are Japanese pharmaceutical companies being excluded from the rapidly-integrating global pharmaceutical industry? While the most important factor in the selection process is biotechnology—and Japan has a lot of prominent scholars, including Nobel prize winners, in this field—individual pharmaceutical companies in Japan have simply been too small to accommodate this talent. With a lag of nearly two decades behind the US and EU, we have finally started to see a growing number of bio-venture start-ups in Japan. The quality of R&D staff in established Japanese pharmaceutical companies is as good as at overseas counterparts. The lack of managerial and organizational skill seems to be the sole, but most difficult, challenge.

Profile of the founder


Shigeru Mishima joined Sankyo Co., Ltd. (now Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited) in 1977, where he worked as a medical representative (MR) and was also involved in clinical development and overseas expansion.

In 1988, he began working as a securities analyst for foreign financial institutions. After serving as a sell-side analyst for UBS Securities Japan Ltd. and Barclays Bank PLC (now Barclays Capital Japan Limited), Mr. Mishima worked as a fund manager, first at Citibank Global Asset Management from 1999 and then at Alliance Capital Asset Management (Japan) Ltd. (now AllianceBernstein Japan Ltd.) from 2003. In 2009 he returned to UBS, where he worked as an analyst in the pharmaceuticals industry.

Academic Background:

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Graduate School of Business Administration (MBA, 1983)

  • University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (B.Sc. 1977)


At Sankyo Co., Ltd., Mr. Mishima served as a medical representative (MR) covering hospitals and clinics in the Tokyo area for four years, after which he was involved in the clinical development of injectable antibiotics as well as in the overseas development of the company’s best-selling cholesterol-lowering agent.

As a securities analyst, he was ranked second in the pharmaceutical sector by "Institutional Investor” for 1998-99. After subsequently moving to the buy-side i.e., asset management, he covered a wide range of companies in domestic and overseas consumer goods industries, including pharmaceuticals, other healthcare, foods, beverages, tobacco, cosmetics, toiletries, and toys. Upon returning to the sell-side in 2009, Mr. Mishima was involved in the IPO of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd.