Takeda : Bringing Transformation in Healthcare since Ancient History

Global Business Leaders Mag

In today’s competitive world the life of any start-up is estimated to be 5-6 years until it actually positions itself in the industry. While we all fancy the journey of big corporations that started the journey from a garage, we often fail to mention the story of Takeda. A company—or stall—which started in an Osaka market in 1781, today Takeda has turned into a global biopharmaceutical leader. Takeda has been in the industry for 230 years and has sustained two centuries. The key was to develop the business with integrity while undergoing a process of continuous transformation.

Takeda began operations in 1781 when Chobei Takeda I started selling traditional Japanese and Chinese medicines in Doshomachi, Osaka. In the 230 years of tenure, the company has supplied pharmaceuticals adhering to the highest ethical standards and a strong sense of mission. The company has constantly worked on improving its relationship with society over the years and as it moves forward Takeda continues to fulfill its responsibilities as a global biopharmaceutical. It has grown to be a patient-focused, value-based, R&D-driven global pharmaceutical company committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to people worldwide. The team shares a passion and pursuit of potentially life-changing treatments for patients that are deeply rooted in two centuries of distinguished history in Japan.

Takeda’s journey expands and advances the translation of science into highly innovative medicines while maintaining our agility as a global, values-based, R&D-driven, biopharmaceutical leader.

A Dynamic R&D Organization

Takeda aims to be a dynamic R&D organization that thinks, acts, and interacts with the external world like no other. The global team of researchers and scientists achieves this by harnessing cutting-edge science to push the boundaries of what is possible to bring transformative, life-changing therapies to patients worldwide. These R&D efforts are focused on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). Moreover, Takeda also makes targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines.

Access to healthcare and medicines should be universal but many people on a global scale lack access to the services and treatments they need. As a result, Takeda has expanded on the existing commitments to enhance global health so that patients in evolving healthcare systems can have access to its innovative and potentially life-saving medicines, which are also cost-effective.

Alike the product and R&D efforts, the manufacturing engineering, quality assurance, and supply chain capabilities are continuously improved. The business is conducted sustainably and fosters a speak-up culture for people and product safety. Takeda seeks out innovation through digital science and partnerships. These partnerships help in achieving the mission of global healthcare and a brighter future for the patients. The partners are equally passionate and nurture innovation. For instance, Takeda has partnered with CiRA with a mission to change the future of healthcare through regenerative medicine and drug discovery. The program is called T-Cira—a combination of expertise, strengths, and high expectations. T-CiRA is a joint research program by the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Over 10 years and under the direction of CiRA, this joint program will research to develop clinical applications of iPS cells.

How can we do more for our patients?

Everything starts with this question, says Christophe Weber, the CEO of Takeda.

The history of Takeda has been built on sincerity and striving for innovation at all times. The mission is to continually contribute towards the welfare of the health of patients globally through the creation of superior medicines. Christophe adds, “With the patient at the center, we will continue to implement changes to create innovation in the future.”

Christophe was appointed as the CEO of Takeda in 2014, as the first non-Japanese CEO of the company. In his initial days, he spent the time understating the culture, ethos, and values of the company and how they can be further enhanced without altering the core. From day one, he set out on a mission to transform the 240-year old Japanese pharmaceutical company into a major global player. The transformation has been progressing at a pace leading in the direction of prosperous growth.

“We are a Japanese company and we will remain a Japanese company, but we have a presence in 80 countries. And with globalization comes diversity, and this is critical,” said Christophe. Furthermore, Takeda has always embraced digital tools and the changes brought by COVID-19 were not new to the company. Christophe emphasizes that the company will never go back to where it was before the pandemic. In the coming years, the focus will be on leveraging data and digital, while also being highly scientific and highly innovative.

Accessible healthcare for all

The leading biopharmaceutical company is equally dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges to sustainable development over the long term. Takeda is on a mission to make accessible healthcare for all through social responsibility programs. The Global CSR Program supports activities in developing and emerging countries that prevent disease, train health workers, strengthen supply chains, and improve access to quality diagnosis and treatment. Takeda makes robust, long-term funding commitments, recognizing that there are no quick fixes and that sustainable impact takes time. Christophe adds, “We actively partner with world-class organizations and NGOs with proven track records of addressing global health problems in innovative, enduring ways.” Each year the employees at Takeda are empowered to decide which new activities the Global CSR Program supports.

In the current crisis, health supply chains face new and unprecedented threats—especially in the world’s most vulnerable areas. Moreover, an estimated 2 billion people currently do not have access to essential supplies on a global scale. Takeda has partnered with World Food Programme (WFP) to make health systems more resilient and enhance their ability to absorb and respond to health shocks by improving existing supply chains.

Quote: “We are a global, values-based, science-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to better health for people, brighter future for the world.” 

Christophe Weber, CEO of Takeda.

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