PRA buys out Takeda JV, cements outpost in Japan

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PRA's new subsidiary brings its total employees in Japan to 450. (Xavier Arnau/iStock)

Nearly three years after it first teamed up with Takeda Pharmaceutical, PRA Health Sciences has bought out its joint venture with the Japanese pharma. Previously known as the Takeda PRA Development Center, the unit was renamed PRA Health Sciences K.K. and is now operating in Japan as a subsidiary of PRA. 

The buyout closed June 1. The move will grow PRA’s staff in Japan to 450 “with opportunity for additional growth in the near term,” the CRO said in a statement last week. 

The duo struck their initial deal in September 2016, under which PRA would manage “an entire pipeline of studies” across all phases of clinical development for Takeda. It also agreed to provide regulatory, pharmacovigilance and other services for drugs in development as well as those already on the market. At the time, the partners expected to move about 300 Takeda employees over to PRA, which then took over pipeline development activities for Takeda in the U.S. and European markets. 

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Five months later, PRA and Takeda expanded this arrangement to include Japan, gearing up to start their joint venture. PRA also bought out all the shares of Takeda Pharmaceutical Data Services. 

Takeda transferred about 140 Takeda employees to the new company “to support drug development and marketed products in Japan," said the company in a release announcing the expansion of the partnership. The joint venture closed in April that year. 

“In recent years, clinical development that bridges simultaneous global development has become a common practice. Through the wealth of experience and expertise in advanced clinical trials in Japan acquired through the joint venture, and our strengths in clinical development across 90 countries, we strive to become an ideal drug development partner for our clients on a global scale,” said PRA President and CEO Colin Shannon in the statement.