- Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical continues to revamp its R&D organization, announcing Feb. 15 it would expand its partnership with contract researcher PRA Health Sciences to cover Takeda's home base of Japan.
- Under the expanded deal, Takeda and PRA will create an equally owned joint venture which will serve as a strategic partner to Takeda's clinical and pharmacovigilance work in Japan. The new entity supports Takeda's development hub in Osaka, Japan.
- Creation of the JV will happen stepwise, starting with Takeda creating a new subsidiary this quarter. Roughly 140 Takeda employees will be transferred to the subsidiary, which will become equally co-owned by the two companies once the JV closes sometime in the second quarter.
Takeda and PRA decided to expand their partnership before the ink was even dry on a Sept. 2016 agreement which first established the close collaboration between the two companies.
As with the original agreement, the new Japanese joint venture will cover management of clinical studies from Phase 1 to Phase 4, as well as providing pharmacovigilance and other services for pipeline and marketed products.
Additionally, Takeda will transfer all shares of its subsidiary Takeda Pharmaceutical Data Services (TDS) to PRA in the second quarter.
The partnership between the two is aimed at improving operational efficiencies and reducing fixed costs — part of a broader effort by Takeda to reshape its global R&D footprint.
In July 2016, Takeda announced a two-year $725 million reorganization which would focus the drugmaker's work to three areas: oncology, gastroenterology and CNS. The effort is expected to provide $175 million in saved costs.
The new deal benefits both partners. Takeda builds out its development capabilities and gains a more global support network for its development center. PRA, on the other hand, secures access to a cohort of experienced researchers with experience in clinical development of drugs for the Japanese market.
The newly created subsidiary will take on around 140 Takeda employees when it is initially formed in the first quarter. A further 60 employees supporting Takeda Development Center Japan will come across when TDS shares are transferred to PRA in the second quarter.
Takeda and PRA made no mention of layoffs associated with the move.