Takeda gears up for Indian alliance

The world may be storming Japan's drug market, but homegrown Takeda Pharmaceuticals is turning to India for growth. The company has tapped Shankar Suryanarayanan to research the market and is exploring various options for moving into India, including an acquisition or alliance, a spokesman confirmed.

The move comes as Takeda is mulling international expansion as a way to bolster sales when its diabetes med Actos falls off patent in early 2011. Earlier this week, the company announced that it was considering a generics-company buyout in South America. As Bloomberg notes, President Yasuchika Hasegawa has said that Takeda is considering setting up new offices in Russia and India. And just this morning, the company announced it will establish a new commercial subsidiary in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

According to The Financial Express, Suryanarayanan will do more than just research the market; he's been tapped to set up an Indian team and head up the operation. The Indian paper also reported that Suryanarayanan is casting about for opportunities to partner with large Indian drugmakers. Citing anonymous sources, the Express said Takeda was likely to take a minority stake in an Indian pharma in the process.

Takeda would be the fourth Japanese drugmaker to establish a beachhead in India. Eisai Pharmaceuticals operates an Indian subsidiary; Daiichi Sankyo of course owns a majority stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories; and Astellas Pharma has operated an office in the country since 2007. Stay tuned to see how Takeda's move there shapes up.

- read Takeda's Brazil unit announcement
- check out the Financial Express coverage
- read the Bloomberg story
- get more from Reuters