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Takeda to cut 10 per cent of jobs

Takeda Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to cut 10 per cent of its workforce in anticipation of decreased financial results for 2010/11

Takeda Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to cut 10 per cent of its workforce in anticipation of decreased financial results for 2010/11. The Japanese company had a worldwide total of 19,654 employees at the end of March 2010.

The impact of these job cuts will be mainly felt in the US, where Takeda currently employs over 5,500 people under Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America (TPNA).

It has been reported by the Chicago Tribune that around 1,600 jobs will be cut in the US, with about 300 coming from the TPNA's Deerfield headquarters in Illinois, and 170 from the 840 people employed at Takeda Global Research and Development Center in Lake Forest, Illinois.

The cuts come as Takeda posted a loss in net sales of 4.7 per cent for the fiscal year 2009. Despite this, the company did post an improved net income for the fiscal year 2009, rising 27 per cent from the 2008 figure to 298bn Yen. However, Takeda expects this figure to fall for the 2010 fiscal year, with a projected net income of 220bn Yen – a decrease of 26 per cent.

This is due to a projected loss in sales due to generic competition for big-selling heartburn and stomach acid drug, Prevacid (lansoprazole) following its US patent expiration in November 2009. Sales of the drug have already fallen from 271bn Yen in fiscal 2008 to 218bn Yen in fiscal 2009.

Another drug facing patent expiration is diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), Takeda's biggest seller. Takeda posted sales of 385bn Yen for fiscal 2009, though generic competition is expected to enter the market in August 2012. This will include a version of the drug from Ranbaxy, who came to an agreement with Takeda regarding a generic version of the drug in March 2010.

In addition, a stronger Yen in the fiscal year 2010 and the start of operations at new R&D facilities in Shonan, Japan, are expected to lead to a poorer financial return for the company.

Takeda also published a 'Mid-Range Plan' for 2010 to 2012. In this plan, the company will follow a new management policy called the 'Vision', which will see the company focus on three themes of innovation, growth, and culture.

This will see a proposed improvement in R&D productivity as well as the launch of new drugs, including Hematide (peginesatide) for chronic kidney disease related anaemia and chemotherapy-induced anaemia, and Feraheme (ferumoxytol) for anaemia associated with chronic renal failure.

The company is also seeking accelerated expansion into emerging markets, with a goal to cover about 90 per cent of the global market by the end of fiscal 2012.

Takeda have set financial targets for fiscal 2012 to achieve net sales of 1,330bn Yen and net income of 200bn Yen.

Full details of the 'Mid-Range Plan', as well as the company's financial results, can be found on the Takeda website

13th May 2010

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