History of Pharmaceutical Business (Anticancer Drug Development)

Leveraging extensive evidence and a wealth of experience gained over half a century of anticancer drug development, Taiho Pharmaceutical will continue to develop new drugs‍ that contribute to cancer patients around the world.

  • Taiho's development of anticancer drugs began with the synthesis of Futraful at the Institute of Organic Synthesis in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

Encountering Futraful: The Beginning of Our Anticancer Drug Development

In 1969, Taiho Pharmaceutical’s first president, Yukio Kobayashi, visited the former Soviet Union for business discussions. While there, he encountered Futraful, a derivative* of a novel chemical compound, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Kobayashi sensed its great potential. He instantly decided to conduct clinical trials in Japan, and the company succeeded in development after overcoming many hurdles. In 1974, the oral anticancer drug Futraful, which enabled oral administration, was developed together with an injectable. Oral Futraful enabled outpatient therapy, which later led to the establishment of the concept of adjuvant chemotherapy.
*Derivative: A compound created by a change in part of a molecule of a given compound.


Futraful capsule 200mg and Futraful injection 400mg launched in Japan

  • 1974_image
    The photo shows products at the time of initial launch.

Pursuing the Advancement of Anticancer Drugs: Overcoming Various Challenges

Pursuing the efficiency of Futraful, further research led to the launch of combination drugs in Japan: UFT in 1984 and TS-1 in 1999.


UFT combination capsule T100 launched in Japan

  • 1984_image
    The photo shows products at the time of initial launch.


TS-1 combination capsule T20/T25 launched in Japan

  • 1999_image
    The photo shows products at the time of initial launch.


UZEL tablet 25mg launched in Japan

  • 2003_image
    The photo shows the half-weight type.


TS-1 combination granule T20/T25 launched in Japan

  • 2009_image

Pioneering the Future of Cancer Treatment: Continuing to Improve Patients’ Quality of Life

In 2013, Taiho Pharmaceutical launched TS-1 as the world’s first anticancer agent in orally disintegrating (OD) tablet form. This helps to improve the quality of life of patients since it can be taken with or without water. In recent years, Taiho Pharmaceutical has been conducting R&D focused on comprehensive care in oncology, including cancer supportive care.


Aloxi I.V. injection 0.75mg launched in Japan

  • 2010_image

Launched Abraxane I.V. infusion 100mg in Japan.

  • 2010_image


TS-1 combination OD tablet T20/T25 and E-fen buccal tablet launched in Japan

  • 2013_image
    The photo shows products at the time of initial launch.


Yondelis I.V. infusion 0.25mg/1mg launched in Japan

  • 2015_image

Delivering Innovative Drugs from Japan: Making a Difference in Over 90 Countries and Regions Worldwide

Entering the 21st century, Taiho Pharmaceutical stepped up its global in-house development of new drugs that can contribute to cancer treatment. This led to the launch of LONSURF, an oral anticancer drug discovered in-house, in Japan in 2014. The following year, LONSURF received approval to be marketed in the U.S., becoming the first product the company itself sold in the U.S. market. In 2016, it was approved by the European Commission, and it continues to spread around the world. LONSURF has been approved in more than 90 countries and regions, including countries in Asia, and sales are growing.


LONSURF combination tablet T15/T20 launched in Japan

  • 2014_image
  • (as of Dec 2020)