Takeda CEO Weber says turnaround tempo quickens, he's staying put

Christophe Weber

Takeda Pharmaceuticals CEO and President Christophe Weber told the Financial Times that the storied Japanese company has reached some important milestones in a turnaround plan that will see more effort into generics, emerging markets, and vaccines.

He also told the newspaper that the company is integrating its acquisitions more methodically, citing Millennium, the Boston-based biotechnology company it bought in 2008, being renamed Takeda Oncology, as well as scouting for new talent.

"Regarding nationalities, it's very diverse. Regarding gender, it's not diverse at all," he was quoted by the Financial Times as saying about Takeda overall. "I don't have a single woman on my team, so I'm working on that."

He told the newspaper that Entyvio, a drug for Crohn's disease, has been rolled out in 10 countries so far, including the U.S., but he added that Takeda was slow to seek regulatory approval in the home market of Japan.

He told the newspaper that new drug launches will more than offset lost revenue and did not not rule out bolt-on acquisitions that align with a therapeutic focus.

He also mentioned the launch of Ixazomib, a potentially $3 billion-plus medicine for the treatment of multiple myeloma, along with diabetes drug Trelagliptin and two vaccines, for dengue and norovirus, the newspaper said. But there was no comment in the article on a possible $2 billion settlement of thousands of U.S.-based lawsuits against the Actos diabetes drug.

He also dismissed rumors he will jump ship at the first lucrative offer.

"I deal with rumor after rumor," he told the newspaper, adding that 6 months after joining he was forced to deny that he was leaving to join Sanofi ($SNY) in a company-wide email.

- here's the story from the FT