Dan Stanton, Managing editor

February 8, 2019

2 Min Read
Takeda post-Shire could divest 25% of its business
Image: iStock/pichet_w

Having acquired Shire last month, Takeda is planning to divest non-core assets, representing up to 25% of its business.

Takeda closed the $62 billion (€55 billion) acquisition of Shire on January 8th and according to Takeda CFO Costa Saroukos, the “integration of the two companies is now progressing as planned.”

Shire brings Takeda greater geography and scale, creating a company with around 35 manufacturing sites, but on a call last week to discuss third quarter FY2018 results, up to a quarter of the merged entity could be on the chopping block.

“The key focus business areas are GI, oncology, neuroscience, rare disease, plasma-derived therapies and they represent 75% of the combined business,” said Saroukos. “All other areas are non-core basically, and they represent 25%. And these are the areas that we’re looking at for potential divestitures.”

One month in from the merger, Saroukos declined to name specifics saying the firm is “actively looking and having conversations” on its divestiture strategy, with communications to come accordingly.

Product by product

Takeda’s CEO Christophe Weber added further detail, explaining the firm is carrying out “an assessment product by product,” to see which products are underperforming and which fit in with the core businesses.

“We are looking also at simplifying. It’s an opportunity to simplify the company as well, and because we have now a much bigger company, so we can take the opportunity to reduce our number of product and simplify our supply chain, for example.”

The firm will also be divesting Shire’s inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) candidate SHP647 – previously known as PF-00547659 – under merger conditions laid down by the European Commission (EC).

SHP647 is a biologic treatment belonging to the same class of anti-integrins as Takeda’s marketed IBD drug Entyvio (vedolizumab). If a merged entity had both biologics in its portfolio it would lead to a loss of innovation and a reduction in potential future competition, the EC said.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.


Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.


From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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