Our History

Kowa Company, Ltd.

Across our entire group, we have 120 years of experience in business and we are proud of our Japanese influence and heritage. Since we were founded in 1894 as Hattori Kanesaburo Wholesale Store (a cotton cloth wholesaler) we have nurtured aspirations to be a global, modern and cutting-edge company.

Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co. Ltd.

By the middle of the last century, we recognised that the pharmaceutical industry presented significant challenges and offered multiple opportunities to help us shape an innovative, forward-looking and global network that could bring many health care benefits to society. So in 1947, the Kowa Pharmaceutical division was born.

  • Interactive timeline

    Click the years on the timeline above to discover more about Kowa through the years.

    If you would prefer to watch the story of Kowa in full then click here

  • 1946

    Electronics and optics division is established

  • 1947

    Pharmaceutical division is established

  • 1954

    Kowa Shinyaku Co., Ltd. is established

  • 1964

    Tokyo Research Laboratory opens and Fuji Factory is constructed for drug production

    Kowa spotting scopes are the official scopes for sports shooting at the Tokyo Olympic Games

  • 1995

    Hamamatsu Factory is constructed for manufacture of the medical equipment

  • 1997

    Kowa Research Institute Inc. is established in California, USA

  • 2000

    Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co. Ltd. is established

  • 2003

    Pitavastatin (Livalo®), for the treatment of dyslipidemia, is launched in Japan

    Nikken Chemicals Co., Ltd. becomes a subsidiary of Kowa

  • 2006

    Kowa fully acquire Nikken Chemicals Co., Ltd. and changes its name to Kowa Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

    Eyecon Co, Ltd. (current Kowa Eyecon Co., Ltd.), manufacturer of intraocular lenses, is established

  • 2007

    Kowa launch their first intraocular lens (IOL) for cataract patients in Japan ─ AvanseeTM

  • 2009

    Livalo® is launched in China

    Kowa and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) open The Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS) in Boston

  • 2010

    Avansee Preset, the first preloaded IOL system in Kowa’s IOL portfolio, is launched in Japan

    Kowa launch the world’s first 2D and 3D digital retinal camera

    Livalo® is launched in the USA

    Livalo® Marketing Authorization is obtained in the EU

  • 2011

    Livalo® is launched in Europe

  • 2012

    K-877 key data (PPAR-α agonist), for the treatment of dyslipidemia, is presented at EAS

    Anagliptin (DPP-4 inhibitor SUINY®), for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, is launched in Japan

  • 2014

    Tofogliflozin hydrate (SGLT2 inhibitor DEBERZA®), for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, is launched in Japan

    Kowa expand their IOL portfolio with the launch of AvanseePreset small incision in Japan

    AvanseePreset launched in Europe

    Ripasudil Hydrochloride Hydrate (Rho kinase inhibitor GLANATEC®) launched in Japan for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension

  • 2015

    Livalo® approved for a new indication in Japan – the treatment of paediatric familial hypercholesterolemia

  • 2016

    AvanseePreload1P launched in Japan – Kowa’s first 1-piece intraocular lens

  • 2017

    AvanseePreload1P launched in Europe

“what will the future bring?”

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