Takeda, amid restructuring campaign, plots 641 layoffs at 2 Massachusetts sites

A recently announced $900 million restructuring drive is already making waves at Takeda, with the company now revealing plans for hundreds of layoffs at two sites in Massachusetts.

Takeda plans to cut 495 staffers at its U.S. headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and 146 at its Lexington campus in the same state, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice.

The company is “committed to supporting employees in impacted roles during this time in multiple ways, including assistance to identify other potential opportunities within Takeda as we create new roles, transition resources and consultation services," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. 

At both sites, the staffing changes will begin in early July and end in March 2025, according to the WARN notice.

March 2025 will mark the end of Takeda’s current fiscal year, during which it expects to bring up its total profit to 225 billion Japanese yen ($1.4 billion).

The multi-year 140 billion yen ($899 million) restructuring campaign looks to improve the company's core operating profit margin each year toward the low-to-mid 30% range and includes a focus on “organizational agility,” procurement savings and tech efficiency, the company said in its recent full-year earnings presentation.

To achieve “organizational simplicity,” Takeda will “reduce layers” and “refine operating models,” it explained.

Through the program, “difficult choices will also be required, and some employees will be impacted as a result,” the spokesperson said.

“This is not an initiative to reduce staff,” the company representative emphasized. “We are working diligently to limit the amount of impact for our employees as much as possible as we evolve to meet the organization's needs moving forward, which will include adding new roles with specific skill sets to best address these needs.”

The mission looks to address sinking profits as generics eat away at sales of blockbuster ADHD med Vyvanse. Over the drugmaker’s last fiscal year, revenue from the drug fell 14% to 423 trillion yen ($2.7 billion).

So far, Takeda has also scrapped some pipeline programs and confirmed it will close a San Diego research site in line with the restructuring. Some 340 full-time employees worked at the San Diego center, but some roles may be moved to other research locations, a spokesperson told Fierce Biotech in early May.

Takeda is the largest life sciences employer in Massachusetts, where it hosts its U.S. headquarters since a 2018 relocation from the Chicago area. Despite the layoffs, the drugmaker is "confident" that it will keep that title, with Cambridge continuing to serve as Takeda's global hub, the representative said. 

The company had already initiated a separate round of cuts this year, cutting 200 staffers as it shut down production and R&D operations at its adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy plant in Orth, Austria. That move was part of a separate plan to divest the site after exiting discovery and preclinical activities on AAV gene therapies.