Takeda taps pharma stars for advisory board

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical is calling on some pharma heavyweights for help and guidance. The company has set up a global advisory board--helpfully nicknamed the "TGAB" by the company's PR folk--that combines several of its current execs with four external advisors. The aim: "By leveraging the expertise of our external industry leaders, Takeda looks forward to continuing creating and marketing novel pharmaceutical products that meet the needs of patients globally," Takeda Pharmaceutical President Yasuchika Hasegawa said in a statement.

In other words: Give us your ideas, and we'll make money. Thanks!

The chosen four are Karen Katen, former vice chairman of Pfizer and current board member at General Motors, Home Depot, Air Liquide and others; Frank Morich, a former Bayer exec and current CEO of NOXXON Pharma; Tadataka Yamada, former CSO and board member at GlaxoSmithKline and current president of global health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Sidney Taurel, ex-chief and current chairman emeritus of Eli Lilly.

Meanwhile, Takeda got a slap on the hand from FDA for a Velcade promo; the agency said the Millenium Pharmaceuticals mailer emphasized the cancer drug's benefits while de-emphasizing side effects. Millennium says it's "always committed to complying with all agency regulations." Presumably a revised mailer is to come.

- read the TGAB release from Takeda
- see the Reuters story on Velcade