In Revamp, Takeda to Now Focus on Three Therapeutic Areas and Concentrate R&D Activities in Japan and the U.S.

July 29, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff


OSAKA, Japan – Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPYY) has a plan to refocus its research & development on three targeted therapeutic areas – oncology, gastroenterology and the central nervous system (CNS). Vaccines will also continue to play an important role, the company announced.

With the new focus, Takeda said it will now concentrate research and development activities in the United States and Japan to “build a world-leading R&D organization and pipeline.” In a statement, Takeda said the refocusing effort is critical to provide the company with the “necessary organizational and financial flexibility to drive innovation, enhance partnerships, and improve R&D productivity for long-term, sustainable growth.”

“I am confident that these achievements and initiatives will result in Takeda’s sustainable future growth as a leading, global innovative pharmaceutical company, Christophe Weber, Takeda’s president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “We are dedicated to bringing therapies to patients, physicians and payers that offer genuine innovation over today’s standards of care. We recognize the impact this transformation will have on our people and are committed to creating unique, innovative business solutions that will offer a variety of opportunities for our R&D employees wherever possible.”

Andy Plump, Takeda’s chief medical and scientific officer, said the company will remain focused on the development of its newly launched drugs, entyvio, a drug to treat adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and ninlaro, a drug to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.. However, he said the new innovations the company is undertaking will allow the company to “develop a more robust and competitive global R&D organization.“

Gastrointestinal drugs have certainly caused the company to see an increase in revenue. Takeda’s quarterly report shows GI drugs caused revenues to triple compared to reports one year ago, driven primarily by sales of entyvio and takecab, for the treatment of acid-related diseases. CNS treatments, driven by trintellix, also saw a huge spike in revenue during the first quarter, according to company reports.

This new pipeline focus will cost Takeda approximately $725 million, with annual savings of about $175 million. Takeda said it intends to re-invest the savings into developing its pipeline over time. At this moment, it is unknown how many positions will be impacted and it is likely the numbers will “fluctuate” as the work progresses, the company said. During a press conference Plump said there will be some job cuts in order to boost efficiency, Bloomberg reported. Some of the lost positions will likely be due to the proposed closure of a facility in Cambridge, England. The company is working with employees as it moves forward toward the possible shut down of that site, Bloomberg said.

Part of this refocus is likely to include Takeda’s selling off some of its non-core assets, such as its majority stake in chemicals business Wako Pure Chemical Industries Ltd. Takeda owns about 72 percent of Wako, according to reports.

The Japanese company is moving to unload some non-core assets in an effort to streamline operations. The possible sale of its stake in the chemical company follows on such streamlining maneuvers as the sale of its respiratory business to London-based AstraZeneca (AZN) for $575 million at the end of 2015. Last year, Takeda also moved to consolidate U.S. vaccine operations under one roof in Cambridge, Mass. by shuttering sites in Bozeman, Mont., Deerfield, Ill. and Madison, Wisc.

Although the company is making a move to streamline operations, Takeda recently created two new business units to support its pipeline. A dedicated Specialty Business Unit will enable Takeda to develop best-in-class capabilities in areas such as patient support and evidence generation. Takeda’s new General Medicine Business Unit will support marketing operations for the company pipeline.

Source: BioSpace