AstraZeneca completes buy-out of Sumitomo Chemical's stake in AstraZeneca KK

AstraZeneca today announced it has completed the 10 billion ($102 million) purchase of Sumitomo Chemical's remaining shares in AstraZeneca KK.

The purchase, valued at approximately $102 million, gives AstraZeneca control of the entire shareholding of AstraZeneca KK.

The British group said the purchase of the shares reinforced its focus on Japan as a key growth platform.

''Our decision to gain full control of AstraZeneca KK reinforces our focus on Japan as a key growth platform,'' Marc Dunoyer, chief financial officer of AstraZeneca, said.

Japan, the world's second-largest pharmaceuticals market after the United States, is an increasingly important market for Western drug makers

Japan has been a tough market for foreign drug firms to crack, but recent steps to speed up the approval process have opened the door to a raft of commercially important drugs.

AstraZeneca with operations in over 100 countries, focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases.