Rajeev Venkayya, former head of the vaccine unit at Takeda

Ra­jeev Venkayya, Take­da’s long­time vac­cines chief, de­parts to lead a stealth pan­dem­ic-fo­cused biotech

Ra­jeev Venkayya, the long­time head of Take­da’s vac­cine unit, is step­ping down to be­come CEO of a new com­pa­ny “fo­cused on com­bat­ing COVID-19 and fu­ture pan­dem­ic threats,” Take­da an­nounced Thurs­day.

Gary Du­bin, an ex­ec­u­tive in the same di­vi­sion, will re­place him.

The move comes as the more in­ten­sive stretch­es of Take­da’s Covid-19 work wind down. Al­though the Japan­ese phar­ma didn’t de­vel­op its own vac­cine, it con­tract­ed to help pro­duce both Mod­er­na and No­vavax’s shots for the coun­try and oth­er mar­kets. Japan ap­proved the Take­da-man­u­fac­tured Mod­er­na shot in May and, in De­cem­ber, Take­da fi­nal­ly sub­mit­ted their ver­sion of the No­vavax shot for ap­proval.

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