Takeda to Launch Global Vaccine Business
Company to establish Vaccine Business Division and Appoints Dr. Rajeev Venkayya as its Leader
Osaka, Japan, December 5, 2011 - Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda") announced today that, effective January 1, 2012, it plans to establish a Vaccine Business Division with the purpose of strengthening the Company's foundations for expansion of its vaccine business on a global scale. The Company also announced the appointment of Dr. Rajeev Venkayya as its leader of the Division.
In Japan, Takeda has established itself as an important supplier of pediatric vaccines for more than 60 years. The Company's recent efforts in vaccine business include clinical testing of the Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and development of a combination vaccine containing a Sabin-inactivated poliovirus (s-IPV) vaccine, which is likely to play an important role in polio eradication. Takeda is also developing a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In order to counter pandemic influenza, Takeda is expediting preparations for production and supply of vaccines against new types of influenza. The acquisition earlier this year of Nycomed A/S, which has a strong business infrastructure in Europe and emerging markets, is expected to support Takeda's initiatives for global vaccine business expansion.
By establishing a Vaccine Business Division, Takeda is determined to contribute to the improvement of public health all over the world as it gathers together and further expands its technology and expertise that have been built over many years. The Vaccine Business Division will take over the ongoing efforts to develop pediatric vaccines in-house and enhance the overall R&D pipeline through the in-license of highly innovative products and novel fundamental technologies. Simultaneously Takeda will pursue viable business opportunities, including alliances supporting the global expansion of the vaccine business.
Assuming office as the head of the new Division on January 15, 2012, Dr. Rajeev Venkayya currently serves as Director of Vaccine Delivery in the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he oversees the Foundation's efforts in polio eradication and its investment in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). Trained as a physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Dr. Venkayya was previously the Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House. In this capacity he oversaw U.S. preparedness for biological threats, and was responsible for the development and implementation of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza.
"While the global vaccine market continues to expand as emerging countries grow, the short supply of affordable vaccines still poses a serious problem. In Japan, the issue of how we should go about ensuring supply of vaccines particularly against emerging infectious threats represents an urgent challenge," said Dr. Tadataka Yamada, Takeda's Chief Medical & Scientific Officer. "Going forward, pharmaceutical manufacturers will be expected to play a critical role in addressing these issues and under the leadership of Dr. Venkayya, Takeda has taken a step forward in fulfilling its responsibility as a leader in the industry."