Take­da shut­ter­ing Chica­go com­plex with 1,000 staffers in lead-up to Shire merg­er

Christophe We­ber

The for­mal deal to merge Take­da and Shire in­to one com­pa­ny has yet to be closed, but the Japan­ese bio­phar­ma is al­ready bring­ing the ax down hard on its US group.

Take­da an­nounced to­day that it is shut­ter­ing its op­er­a­tions near Chica­go, slam­ming the door on 1,000 jobs as they con­cen­trate their forces in the Boston area.

“The work cur­rent­ly per­formed at Take­da’s Deer­field lo­ca­tion will pro­gres­sive­ly con­sol­i­date from Deer­field in­to the greater Boston area fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful clos­ing of the Shire ac­qui­si­tion (which is sub­ject to share­hold­er ap­provals and reg­u­la­to­ry con­sents),” a spokesper­son told re­porters. “This move, while dif­fi­cult, will al­low clos­er col­lab­o­ra­tion across Take­da to best po­si­tion our fu­ture pipeline for suc­cess. It will al­so sim­pli­fy our ex­ist­ing Take­da U.S op­er­a­tions.”

Shire al­so has about 800 staffers in Illi­nois, notes the Chica­go Tri­bune, but Take­da says that it has made no de­ci­sions about their fate.

An­drew Plump

That shouldn’t take long. Take­da has shrugged off some deep seat­ed op­po­si­tion to the move in Japan, where for­mer staffers have al­lied with Take­da fam­i­ly mem­bers to warn of the pend­ing cat­a­stro­phe that would re­sult if the com­pa­ny turns its back on long­stand­ing tra­di­tions. The deal, though, should close in ear­ly 2019.

Ear­li­er re­ports have high­light­ed the on­go­ing mi­gra­tion of jobs from Chica­go to Boston, the new epi­cen­ter for the com­pa­ny’s R&D ef­forts un­der CEO Christophe We­ber. 

What’s next? Take­da has promised it will slice about 7% of its com­bined staff. But R&D chief Andy Plump has al­so in­sist­ed they will find ways to spin out jobs and pro­grams as they bring Shire in­to the com­pa­ny. 

Ex­act­ly how many that will leave in the cold, though, is un­cer­tain.

5AM Ven­tures: Fu­el­ing the Next Gen­er­a­tion of In­no­va­tors

By RBC Capital Markets
With Andy Schwab, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures

Key Points

Prescription Digital Therapeutics, cell therapy technologies, and in silico medicines will be a vital part of future treatment modalities.
Unlocking the potential of the microbiome could be the missing link to better disease diagnosis.
Growing links between academia, industry, and venture capital are spinning out more innovative biotech companies.
Biotech is now seen by investors as a growth space as well as a safe haven, fuelling the recent IPO boom.

Biohaven CEO Vlad Coric (Photo Credit: Andrew Venditti)

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Janet Woodcock and Joshua Sharfstein (AP, Images)

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