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.

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Sr. Manager, Regulatory Affairs, CMC
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