With a spate of new and expanded deals this year, Takeda is not letting its $62 billion dollar takeout of Shire slow its transformation from a traditional small molecule company to a home for edgier, riskier science, built on multiple modalities.
Since joining as COO in 2014, President and CEO Christophe Weber has been remaking Takeda from a segmented, small molecule-focused company into a pharma plugged into innovation in global hotspots (see “Taking Takeda Global”).
Weber has gradually expanded the Japanese pharma’s footprint via organizational revamps and its acquisition of Shire plc (see "Takeda Hits the Gas").
But the pharma has recognized it needed to expand its technology base by embracing new modalities that could either supersede its small molecule programs or open up new target space.
Hiring Andrew Plump in 2015 was a key part of the strategy. He came on board as Chief Medical and Scientific Officer in 2015 and is now President of R&D following the integration of Shire's leadership.
Plump and Weber launched the pharma's Center for External Innovation (CEI) in 2016. Since then, Takeda has been on a shopping spree for partnerships that add new technological capabilities to the toolkit (see “Takeda’s Modality Operandi”).
Takeda told BioCentury it has over 200 active partnerships initiated via CEI.
Among the roughly 100 deals disclosed, two-thirds have been partnerships covering assets or technologies in discovery to Phase I.
“If you’re not operating like we’re operating -- if that one technology gets superseded by something -- you have a hard time pivoting.”
Takeda has stuck fairly closely to its guiding principal of finding technologies that synergize with its internal expertise or with the expertise of its various partners, within the three core