Takeda continues global R&D reboot with a new joint venture with PRA

Christophe Weber, president and chief executive officer of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., speaks during the 18th Nikkei Global Management Forum in Tokyo, Japan  (CREDIT: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Christophe Weber has unleashed some tidal forces in restructuring Takeda’s 236-year-old business. And they’re taking another big step in the process by setting up an R&D joint venture with the big CRO PRA.

Come June 1, according to documents released in Osaka, PRA will get half the shares of their new JV, to be dubbed Takeda-PRA Development Center KK.

Reorganizing their global research operations called for downsizing the UK and other sites while beefing up the US — primarily in Boston where they acquired Millennium — and in Japan. Last September they announced plans to offer research staff in the US and Europe up to 300 positions as they outsourced R&D to PRA. And they followed up in February by adding Japan to that restructuring operation with the CRO.

Andrew Plump, Takeda

From their statement:

A joint venture between Takeda and PRA(UK) will provide clinical development operations and pharmacovigilance and other operational services for both development and marketed product portfolios of Takeda in close alignment with Takeda’s TDC Japan. This partnership is expected to provide access to a more flexible operational capability to support development, as well as further globalizing Takeda’s development business in Japan building on Takeda’s capability in Japan and PRA’s capability in Asia Pacific.

Weber and R&D chief Andrew Plump have been completely rebooting Takeda’s R&D operations, and don’t show the slightest hesitation in making deep cuts to achieve their goals. At the beginning of the year, Takeda agreed to buy Ariad for $5.2 billion, then recently laid off about 180 Ariad staffers while retaining about 120.

But about 50 of the affected staffers at Ariad were also in line for jobs at PRA, which is continuing to soak up staff being cut by Takeda.

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Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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