GSK, Takeda say nay to in-house diagnostics units

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Takeda Pharmaceutical are choosing the partnerships side of the divide when it comes to developing diagnostics to team up with their drugs. Both companies have said they're unlikely to develop in-house divisions focused on diagnostics--as Roche ($RHHBY) and Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) have--but to take a more piecemeal approach.

GSK CFO Simon Dingemans told Bloomberg the company doesn't want to add a whole new division. "We're not about to go buy medical equipment or diagnostics businesses or new legs to the group," Dingemans told the news service. "We're focused on buying things that we can add value to." But cherry-picking particular diagnostics for particular disease areas? Possibly.

Takeda figures it can work on these combinations without actually owning the diagnostics side of the business. "The tandem of diagnostics and therapeutics is a logical tandem and will be very important in the future," CMO Tachi Yamada told Bloomberg. "But I don't know that you have to control both ends of it."

Two weeks ago, Novartis ($NVS) and Sanofi ($SNY) executives said they're not interested in buying in a diagnostics division, either. "[Y]ou can get access to this technology without necessarily having to acquire the company," Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez (photo) said at the time. Sanofi chief Chris Viehbacher (photo) concurred. "You need to be part of new technologies but I think partnership is the way to go," he said.

- see the Bloomberg piece