(Yicai) Oct. 31 -- Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical, which entered China nearly three decades ago, predicts China will become its second-biggest market due to growth potential, an executive told Yicai exclusively.
China is an increasingly important driving force for Takeda’s business growth as it is expected to become the company's second-largest market globally after the United States, Ramona Sequeira, president of the global portfolio division, said in an interview with Yicai recently.
China is Takeda’s third-biggest market worldwide for now and Japan is the second-biggest. Founded in 1781, the Tokyo-headquartered company focuses on developing treatments in gastroenterology, neuroscience, oncology, and rare diseases, as well as vaccines.
Sequeira is optimistic about China's pharmaceutical innovation. The nation has been making unremitting efforts to widen access to innovative drugs and to make more patients able to afford such medicines, especially regarding new drugs for rare diseases, she said, adding that this is consistent with Takeda’s philosophy of "patients first" and business positioning in orphan drugs.
Takeda has observed measures done by the Chinese government to promote clinical testing standards to be in line with international practices, as well as efforts to speed up the examination and review of drugs while strengthening intellectual property protection, which is very encouraging for Takeda, Sequeira said.
The company has been doubling down on innovative drugs for rare diseases in China in recent years. For example, Takeda China and Chinese drugmaker Belief BioMed jointly announced this month that they will join hands on bringing a new drug for hemophilia B, a type of blood clotting disorder, onto the market. More specifically, Takeda China will be given the exclusive commercial license in China to market the BBM-H901 injection developed by Belief BioMed.
Patients with hemophilia B are likely to have joint deformity and muscle atrophy, and they might even die if they bleed repeatedly for a long time, but the existing means of diagnosis and treatment are limited, Shan Guohong, president of Takeda China, told Yicai, hoping the Belief BioMed partnership will popularize such type of gene therapy in China.
The alliance marks a shift to a more localized strategy for the Japanese company. Takeda will work with more Chinese partners in core treatment technologies to draw on each other’s strengths, Sequeira said.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine