- Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo has been on a mission since April to refine its R&D operations, and in that pursuit is closing its Indian research facility.
- The subsidiary, Daiichi Sankyo India Pharma, employs about 170 and focuses primarily on drug discovery for infectious disease and inflammation, according to a Jan. 10 statement from its parent company.
- Daiichi Sankyo's main research business will take control of all the pipeline compounds the Gurgaon, India-based facility was investigating. The company did not disclose any information relating to the facility's employees.
Pipeline refinement was a major theme for the industry throughout 2016, and with that came overhauls in R&D.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals, another Japanese drugmaker, announced in the summer a $725 million restructuring to streamline resources into just a few therapeutic areas, including central nervous system disorders, gastroenterology and oncology. More recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb revealed plans to put the bulk of its research investment into its Cambridge, MA, New Jersey and San Francisco hubs.
"Aiming to speed up drug discovery research, laboratory organizations’ disparate functions/therapeutic areas will be restructured," so that all research and technology decisions pertaining to a specific therapeutic area come from a single location, the company said in a February 2016 statement announcing upcoming structural changes.
Of particular interest to Daiichi Sankyo, like many pharmaceutical companies, is oncology. On that front, it has pulled oncology candidates out from other research arms and funneled them into a new unit focused solely on the therapeutic area.
The company also has inked several deals in the last year to fortify its oncology pipeline. They include one locked down earlier this week with Kite Pharma that allows Daiichi Sankyo access to a leading CAR-T drug, one from October that lets it co-develop cancer immunotherapies with AgonOx, and another with Amgen from July that gives Daiichi Sankyo marketing rights to Avastin, Herceptin and seven other biosimilars.