Amidst Dramatic Reorganization, Takeda May (Or May Not) Shutter Cambridge, UK Site

Published: Aug 26, 2016

Amidst Dramatic Reorganization, Takeda May (Or May Not) Shutter Cambridge, UK Site August 26, 2016
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

There appears to be conflicting reports about whether Japanese drug company Takeda is closing its UK-based Cambridge Science Park facility. Although BusinessWeekly reported today that it was closing the site, another report by PMLive indicates the company is saying those reports were premature.

What does seem clear is that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is launching a new strategy called Access to Medicines (AtM). The shift, according to the company’s statement boils down to: “For decades, the company has provided product, funding and access in many parts of the world, based on regional needs. The new AtM strategy builds on that by focusing on geographies and therapy areas with the highest unmet need.”

“Access to innovative medicines and quality healthcare is vital to the health of people across the world,” said Christophe Weber, Takeda’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “In line with Takeda’s values, our Access to Medicines strategy will expand on our existing commitments to enhance global health, so that our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines can be more accessible and affordable to patients in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The BusinessWeekly story about the Cambridge, UK locations, seems based on earlier reports that Takeda was going to basically shrink its operations and focus on Japan and the U.S., which the company told BusinessWeekly was incorrect.

A company spokesperson told BusinessWeekly, “In the UK, the proposal is that our London site will shift its focus from global to European-level activities, with fewer function based at this location. Our proposals also including closing the Takeda Cambridge facility, spinning off key programmes and capabilities to a Takeda-funded biotech, and transferring some capabilities to other locations within Takeda.”

The PMLive report indicates that although the company is contemplating changes to its Cambridge operations, those have not been decided yet. PMLive writes, “Takeda Cambridge is being affected by the company’s decision to focus its R&D operations in Japan and the U.S., part of a sweeping restructuring campaign initiated by the Japanese group’s first western chief executive Christophe Weber.”

Those changes including a plan to streamline the company’s core research-and-development areas—oncology, gastroenterology, central nervous system (CNS) and vaccines—around Shonan, Japan and San Diego and Boston, in the U.S.

The Cambridge facilities’ research focuses on Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, diabetes, obesity and inflammation.

The restructuring has also involved the development of a joint company, Teva Takeda Yakuhin, between Takeda and Israeli company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries . The joint company will market generic drugs in Japan.

Teva Takeda Yakuhin is being run by Hiroshi Matsumori, who is the chief executive officer and president of Teva Pharma Japan, which will be located in Nagoya, Japan.

Even if Takeda does decide to close the Cambridge facility, it says it is committed to the UK. “These changes will not have an impact on the head office in High Wycombe and Takeda remains committed to its presence in the UK and Ireland,” the spokesperson told BusinessWeekly. “In the UK, the proposal is that our London site will shift its focus from global to European-level activities, with fewer functions based at this location.”

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