R&D Budget: $4.64B (€3.39B)
Change over 08: +64.3 percent
Income spent on R&D: 29.5%
Like most of the big pharma companies, Takeda has an enormous patent problem. Actos, its big earner in the diabetes area, will lose patent protection next year--equivalent to the day after tomorrow in R&D circles--and Prevacid revenue is already in freefall now that the competition has arrived.
Those patent issues figured prominently in Takeda's decision to eliminate more than a quarter of its employees in the U.S., along with hundreds of R&D staffers in a Chicago area complex. Takeda had shifted its R&D headquarters from Japan to Illinois just a year earlier as it sought new ways to jazz its development efforts.
One reason why Takeda has had such an enormous patent headache is that the FDA has been steadily ratcheting up the bar on new diabetes drugs, looking for more safety data than ever before.
Takeda's best R&D hope may lie in Boston, where it found and bought Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion. The move, completed at a 65 percent premium for Millennium shareholders in 2008, delivered the blockbuster Velcade and a significant pipeline of oncology drugs, where the safety standard is balanced with an urgent need to find drugs offering greater efficacy for patients.
Millennium has continued to forge its own R&D path since the buyout, with CEO Deborah Dunsire aggressively partnering with the likes of Seattle Genetics on promising new therapies. If Takeda can't deliver on the R&D front by itself, it will need Millennium to show them the way.