Japan's Takeda breaks another trail in research pact with La Jolla's Sanford Consortium

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical has consolidated vaccine offices, signed a slew of alliances for discovery efforts, and moved aggressively to refocus the company since Christophe Weber took over as CEO on April 1.

The latest move, albeit small at $10 million in the world of Big Pharma, shows how far and wide the company is prepared to go in search of new opportunities.

Takeda and the La Jolla, California-based Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine said they agreed to establish a 5-year Innovation Alliance.

The consortium and Takeda will focus on translational research and proof-of-concepts research projects, of course aimed at producing a drug down the line.

Earlier this month, Japan's Eisai, Shinogi and Takeda teamed up with U.K.-based AstraZeneca ($AZN) on a broad R&D effort to find treatments for insect-borne parasitic diseases Chagas and leishmaniasis.

The move follows a $100 million Global Health Innovative Technology fund set up by 6 Japanese companies, the government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013 to focus on neglected diseases, The New York Times reported.

Domestically, the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, created less than two months ago in the model of the U.S. NIH, said last month it is now ready to receive up to 200,000 substance samples from more than 10 drugmakers.

Regenerative medicine in Japan has big name research momentum from Riken and signs of a growing biotech micro-push as companies such as SanBio will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as it develops regenerative cell therapy candidates.

The nonprofit Sanford Consortium includes the University of California, San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

- here's the release