With its annual net profit down 34 percent and a strong yen cutting into revenue, Japan's Takeda Pharmaceuticals is under enormous pressure to launch more products and advance new blockbusters. And in conversations with journalists yesterday, company President Yasuchika Hasegawa offered a glimpse at a new approach to spurring significant R&D productivity.
Hasegawa says the time has come to start paying the company's scientists based on the quality of work they do, rather than the quantity.
"We focused too much on the quantity and speed of research and development, which didn't necessarily bring results," said Hasegawa. "I don't think rushing will help" add new drugs and revenue.
There are no details yet on exactly how that would play out on pay day. But it's clear that the pipeline at Takeda remains a big concern. As Bloomberg points out, Takeda's program for a successor to Actos has stalled at the FDA, a new cholesterol drug was scrapped on disappointing data and a new drug for hypertension--TAK-491--is way behind schedule. Any scientist who can help Takeda get out of this fix would be worth quite a bonus.