Takeda consolidates Singapore business with an eye on emerging markets

JAPANESE drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical has consolidated and streamlined its Singapore operations in a move that signals its greater concentration on emerging markets - a key pillar of its long-term strategy.

The company's new office in Biopolis will house its emerging markets business unit headquarters that was previously based in Zurich, the Takeda Development Centre Asia and its vaccine business unit.

Giles Platford, president of the emerging markets business unit, said the move will help the company better understand the needs of patients and customers as it develops the drugs.

The centralised and expanded office signifies "the conclusion of the integration process and recognition of the fact that Takeda is now truly a global organisation", he said.

The company is expected to grow its emerging markets business by 10 per cent, Mr Platford said, adding that about 50 per cent of the growth will come from value brands - products which are now off-patent but in many markets still trusted and used by patients and over-the-counter medications.

"The remaining 50 per cent is expected to come from our innovative pipeline and this was very much the rationale for Takeda acquiring Nycomed in 2011; it was to marry the broad commercial footprint of Nycomed in emerging markets with the innovative pipeline that Takeda has to offer. So we are in the process of accelerating registration and launch of those products in gastroenterology, diabetes and of course, in oncology."

Takeda had led the Japanese charge for large deals in recent years with its US$20 billion acquisition of Swiss drugmaker Nycomed and US biotech firm Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 2008.

By leveraging the commercial platform with the acquisition of Nycomed, Takeda now has commercial presence in 37 emerging markets around the region.

Takeda said its five emerging-market areas represent 90 per cent of the total projected pharmaceutical growth.

The new office, spanning almost 14,000 square feet, paves the way for the drugmaker to tap the talent pool here. It will increase its staff strength by about 50 per cent, bringing the total headcount to some 200.

Its vaccine business unit based here hosts a new laboratory that is primarily used for analytics and product development against infectious diseases in the region, with dengue fever being a key focus. The vaccine targeting dengue fever will soon enter Phase 3 clinical trials.

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