Takeda reorg preps vaccines unit for emerging markets test

As promised, newcomer COO Christophe Weber is shaking things up at Takeda Pharmaceutical, with the Japanese company this week rolling out a revamped organizational structure that it hopes will make it the "best-in-class company in every aspect" of its business. And that includes vaccines.

Takeda Vaccines head Rajeev Venkayya

Vaccines will go into their own global specialty business unit that will "accelerate the globalization" of the business, Takeda said Tuesday. It's a move Vaccines President Rajeev Venkayya, who will head the new unit, says will help it both reinforce its Japanese vaccines business and successfully develop and commercialize the pipeline candidates--like its experimental dengue jab--that it picked up in its buyouts of LigoCyte and Inviragen.  

"The development and commercialization of vaccines differ from pharmaceuticals in important ways, from the design and execution of clinical trials to the engagement of policymakers and participation in public tender processes in countries," he told FierceVaccines via email. "The Global Vaccine Business Unit was established to meet these unique requirements of the vaccine market and to position this business for success."

Takeda's drive for a more global focus extends beyond vaccines, too. The company will carve out a broader regional pharma business focusing on emerging markets, an area it has said it's looking to double down on. And the new vaccines unit will be ready to put its capabilities to use to "ensure the swift launch and uptake of Takeda's vaccines following licensure," Venkayya said.

That emerging markets presence will be especially important come 2017, when the drugmaker expects to have U.S. and European regulatory nods for its vaccine to fight dengue--a potentially deadly disease that threatens developing nations in regions like Latin America and Southeast Asia, among others. Analysts expect it to be second-to-market behind a prospect from French drugmaker Sanofi ($SNY), which has a significant emerging markets footprint of its own.

- read the release

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