Takeda pledges close to $765M for plasma-derived therapy production site in Japan

Takeda Pharmaceutical has a decadeslong history in plasma-derived therapies, but the company is far from done expanding its reach in the field. And the drugmaker's next project is its largest yet in Japan.

The Japanese pharma giant revealed plans to invest about 100 billion Japanese yen ($764.6 million) to build a new production facility in Osaka. The state-of-the-art facility will be operational by around 2030, according to a press release.

The plant will expand Takeda's plasma manufacturing capacity in Japan nearly fivefold, complementing an existing but smaller site in Narita. It will also allow Takeda to "serve more patients in Japan sustainably," the drugmaker said in the release.

Plus, the facility will offer extra capacity for the company's overall global production network, as plasma-derived therapy is a key business focus for Takeda.

This is Takeda's single largest manufacturing expansion in Japan in the company's 241-year history. Takeda is planning to install all of the bells and whistles typically seen at a modern biopharma manufacturing plant. It'll include automation and digital tech, and it'll be fully integrated to cover all of the stages of plasma-derived therapy production.

Takeda has a 75-year history in plasma-derived therapies, according to its website. The therapies, which require blood donations to produce, are essential for thousands of patients worldwide with rare diseases. 

In the company's third-quarter results, the company said the plasma-derived therapy immunology group pulled down more than 500 billion yen ($3.8 billion), or 16% of group sales, for the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2022. That figure represented 18% growth versus the same period in the prior year.

This isn't the company's only plasma production investment in recent years. Last September, the company said it would invest 300 million euros to build a new plant and warehouse at an existing facility in Lessines, Belgium. 

Before that, in February 2022, the company enlisted National Resilience for some of its plasma production needs.