Takeda plans to cut nearly 2,000 jobs

Move would mostly affect U.S. jobs, and is part of the company’s “2010-2012 Mid-Range Plan”

Jeffrey Bouley
OSAKA, Japan—Even as it announces the release of its "2010-2012 Mid-Range Plan" to start in fiscal year 2010—one year ahead of schedule and intended to "transform the company into a new Takeda"—word is also hitting the streets of Takeda Pharmaceutical laying off 10 percent of its global workforce.

FirstWord, FiercePharma and Chicago Breaking Business are among those reporting that some 1,900 of Takeda's 19,000 employees worldwide will find themselves without jobs soon—and more than 1,400 of those cuts are aimed at U.S. workers. These numbers aren't getting played up in the May 12 news release about the mid-range plan, though many sunnier notions are.

Takeda has reported that it expects profit for the coming year to fall 18 percent, largely dues to expirations of patent expiries on such drugs as Prevacid and Actos. Takeda predicts profit of $3.7 billion in the year to March 2011, falling below analysts' estimates of $3.9 billion. For the year ended March 31, though, Takeda posted a profit of $4.5 billion, up 27 percent from a year earlier when it was hit by costs related to the acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

So, with the economy still recovering globally, layoffs aren't a huge surprise in pharma. But still, many in the United States will probably find that little comfort personally.

In the Chicago area alone, according to Chicago Breaking Business coverage, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America plans to eliminate 28 percent of the 1,300 positions at its headquarters in Deerfield. About 20 percent of the jobs at the Takeda Global Research and Development Center will also be cut where approximately 840 workers were being employed.

"The cuts are part of a transformation plan aimed at answering the drug industry's biggest challenges," Takeda said, and cites as reasons for the job cuts and moving on its mid-range plan a year early: "The business environment for the pharmaceutical industry is changing dramatically, with the pharmaceutical industry as a whole facing barriers to technological innovation that have halted progress in breakthrough novel drugs, stricter approval processes for new drugs in advanced nations, and radical upheaval in healthcare systems."

Company official note that during its nearly 230-year history, Takeda has often encountered difficulties, which it has overcome—and achieved growth—by implementing its corporate philosophy of "Takeda-ism = Integrity, meaning fairness, honesty and perseverance." As such, it paints the layoffs and other upcoming moves as evidence that it can "respond flexibly to these changes in the business environment and ensure a sustained growth trajectory by developing and implementing a mid-range plan starting in the fiscal 2010, one year ahead of schedule."

According to the company's news release about the plan, "Takeda positions the period covered by the 2010-2012 Mid-Range Plan as a time of transformation, in which the company will move forward from its past successes and grow into a new Takeda, setting a course for further development. To achieve the goals of this Mid-Range Plan, the company has decided on a new management policy referred to as the Vision, which focuses on company activities on the themes of innovation, growth, and culture. These are the key concepts in the transformation that Takeda will engage in ensuring sustained growth in the medium- to long-term."

Some of the strategies to implementing the Vision, Takeda says, are:

Innovation

Bring new products to market from the fiscal 2010 onwards through steadily conducting clinical study of the products in the late-stage development; build a pipeline that is balanced across therapeutic areas, each stage of development and geographical regions through novel drugs, merger and acquisition moves, and licensing activities; concentrate investment of its management resources into new core therapeutic areas of "Metabolic & CV" (obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis), "Oncology", and "Central Nervous System Diseases" (depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease); and improve R&D productivity.

Growth

In Japan, Takeda plans to maintain its position as Japan's number one pharmaceutical company (by market share) by achieving early penetration and sales expansion of a host of new products and by strengthening its cancer and central nervous system disease franchises. In the United States and Europe, Takeda will quickly diffuse new products into the market. At the same time, in line with the future product mix in these regions, the company plans to establish a flexible sales and personnel structure to cover not only the primary care field but also specialized fields. Furthermore, Takeda plans to expand its presence in the large-scale markets of U.S. and Europe, and also accelerate expansion into emerging markets and other countries and regions where high market growth is expected. The goal is to cover about 90% of the global market by fiscal 2012.

Culture

As part of the transformation into a new Takeda, the company says it will "create an open and active corporate culture. To achieve this, the company will foster a working atmosphere in which all Takeda Group employees can achieve their full potential, working with colleagues of different nationalities, cultures, genders and careers. At the same time, Takeda will step up its training programs to develop staff with a global perspective."


Jeffrey Bouley

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