Takeda places vaccines unit in Singapore to push for global growth

Last September, Takeda announced it would be putting vaccines into their own specialty business unit to "accelerate the globalization" of the business. And now, it's positioning the unit geographically to do the same.

The Japanese pharma's new office in Singapore's Biopolis will be home to the vaccines business--and it'll house Takeda's emerging markets headquarters, too, Singapore's The Business Times reports. The space there will feature a new vaccines laboratory that the company plans to use primarily for analytics and product development.

Fittingly, that product development will focus on infectious diseases in the region--including dengue fever, for which Takeda has a candidate vaccine it's prepping for Phase III trials. While Sanofi's ($SNY) leading the race to bring the world's first dengue shot to market, analysts expect Takeda's contender to be the second to snag approval--and to be nipping at the French drugmaker's heels by 2020.

Christophe Weber

It's all part of Takeda's push to zero in on disease areas that currently lack vaccines--and thus, where it currently lacks competitors. Earlier this month, the company said it would be dropping a Phase II Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis (DTaP) and Sabin inactivated poliovirus vaccine (sIPV) program in Japan to focus on wide-open markets where it could make a bigger impact.

And vaccines isn't the only part of the company getting an international makeover. The company is on a quest to become a more global organization, which has gone all the way up to its executive ranks. Christophe Weber, set to become the drugmaker's first non-Japanese CEO, has been leading a charge to dive deeper into emerging markets since he took up Takeda's COO post last year.

- get more from The Business Times