San Diego/ Science, Tech & Medicine
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 19, 2024
Takeda Pharmaceutical to Shut Down San Diego Facility, Affecting 324 EmployeesSource: Google Street View

Takeda Pharmaceutical has decided to close its San Diego research facility in a move that will upend hundreds. The Japanese pharmaceutical giant made the announcement that will affect 324 San Diego workers facing relocation or layoffs. This closure is part of Takeda's strategy to consolidate and streamline its research divisions.

On May 9, notifying employees of the looming shutdown, Takeda filed paperwork with the state as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), signaling the end of its tenure at the San Diego site. The facility, known for its gastroenterology, inflammation, and neuroscience research, has been a hub of scientific activity and employment since it opened in 2019 after a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the existing offices on Science Center Drive, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

A statement issued by Takeda officials and obtained by KGTV stressed the company's continued investment in California, mentioning its BioLife plasma donation centers and a $126 million investment in its Thousand Oaks manufacturing site. In the face of the San Diego closure, Takeda emphasized, "We remain committed to our presence in California."

The WARN notice filed by Takeda indicated that the 9625 Towne Centre Drive office shuttering would be effective by the end of September. The company had been leasing the 163,648-square-foot building for several years, owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities based out of Pasadena. Not all San Diego workers may lose their jobs. As Takeda stated, some "will be offered the opportunity for redeployment to Takeda’s offices in Massachusetts." In contrast, according to a spokesperson who told the San Diego Union-Tribune, others may receive severance pay and outplacement support.

In dealing with its broader restructuring meant to achieve a more streamlined organization and cut costs, Takeda is looking to enhance its focus on late-stage drug development to bump up profitability. "On May 9, we communicated to employees the difficult, but necessary decision to close our research site in San Diego to focus more of our resources on our promising late-stage pipeline and to ensure we are best positioned to create more long-term value for patients, the global health care system and society,” a company spokesperson said in an email to the Union-Tribune. Takeda estimates the restructuring will cost around $900 million this fiscal year.

Despite closing down the expansive San Diego hub, Takeda will retain its connection to the local biopharmaceutical landscape through its history of mergers and acquisitions. Over the years, Takeda has integrated itself within the San Diego biotech community, notably with acquisitions like Syrrx Pharmaceuticals in 2005 and PvP Biologics in 2020. Last month, the company expanded its partnership with Kumquat Biosciences to develop new cancer therapies, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune.