Months after consummating its hefty $62 billion deal to buy Ireland’s Shire, Japanese drugmaker Takeda is strengthening its roots in the United States and enriching its global research heft, by unveiling a 165,000-square-foot facility in San Diego, California, in addition to its existing R&D center in Cambridge, Massachusetts and plant in Shonan, Japan.
The San Diego research center will also play a key role in connecting local collaborators with Takeda’s global network of more than 200 research partners. In the last three years, Takeda has committed $35 million to Southern California startups and since 2005, the company has joined forces with the region’s oldest children’s non-profit, San Diego Center for Children, to support children with mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges.
In 2016, Takeda chief Christophe Weber eked out his blueprint for a global R&D overhaul for the 1781-founded company, laying out his vision to concentrate the drugmaker’s efforts in Japan and the United States. As part of the R&D reorganization, the company’s UK operations came under the ax. The revamp was orchestrated to allow Takeda to focus on oncology, gastroenterology and CNS conditions, plus vaccines, and now, it has also added rare diseases to its arsenal.
The life sciences cluster is a major driver of San Diego’s economy, and the region hosts more than 1,225 companies in the sector — including Eli Lilly $LLY, Pfizer $PFE and GlaxoSmithKline $GSK — and nearly 17 million square feet of lab space, according to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.
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