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Deepening Our Commitment to Research with State-of-the-Art Facility in San Diego, California

On April 30th, 2019 Takeda celebrated the opening of its new San Diego research center, located squarely in the city’s life sciences ecosystem. The site complements Takeda’s global Research & Development center in Cambridge, Massachusetts and its other research site located in Shonan, Japan. The 165,000-square-foot facility was designed to support Takeda’s work leveraging specialized drug discovery technologies as well as discovering potentially transformative medicines in the gastroenterology (GI) and neuroscience therapeutic areas.

Photo by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
With more than 50 percent of the new research center’s space dedicated to laboratories, the building’s sleek design mirrors the advanced discovery research occurring within its walls – including target validation, lead optimization and candidate selection. The building is home to four distinct research platform groups focused on structural biology, early target discovery, computational biology and biologics. Each research platform group serves a unique purpose within our broader R&D strategy; for instance, the Global Computational Biology Group is applying new technologies and machine learning to better evaluate and leverage data gathered through experiments, clinical studies and real-world evidence.

Photo by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Takeda has been hard at work expanding its research pipeline beyond small molecule drugs. In 2015, 85 percent of the company’s research pipeline was focused on small molecules. Today, more than 50 percent falls outside small molecules in areas including biologics, peptides, oligonucleotides, cell and gene therapy, the microbiome and other modalities. Diversifying the early research pipeline today will fuel Takeda’s next wave of potentially transformative medicines.

Deep-Rooted Collaborations

Having an external mindset is a critical component of Takeda’s R&D strategy. In addition to the internal research conducted on site, there are a number of research activities underway through partnerships cemented with academia, industry partners and service providers. Since 2016, Takeda has committed $35 million to Southern California startup companies, underscoring its commitment to the active life sciences cluster in the San Diego and broader California area. Beyond its research activities, Takeda regularly engages with the local community, centering on three main themes: patient advocacy and healthcare, the environment, and children and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. 

“Our San Diego research site demonstrates the optimal balance between highly specialized internal research competencies and dedication to external partnerships both within the local community and on a global scale,” said Steve Hitchcock, Ph.D., Head of Research. “By consulting with and leveraging our relationships with industry partners and community groups, we are able to operate nimbly and efficiently to advance early discovery research that could potentially translate into transformative, life-changing therapies for patients in need, mirroring and supplementing our efforts in our other global research centers in Cambridge and Shonan.”