“This marks a significant moment in Takeda’s history and is an exciting step forward as we accelerate our transformation journey,” said Christophe Weber, Takeda’s CEO, after the USD 62 billion acquisition of international biotech Shire was completed in 2019. Two years later, the Japanese giant appears to finally be on a path to growth after a number of divestments and cost-cutting measures.


The company recently reported a five-fold increase in year-to-year operating profit, driven by a 16 percent increase in sales of 14 global brands, including its Entyvio colitis treatment. Those medicines made up 82 percent of Takeda’s total revenues.


The company’s CFO, Costa Saroukos, said that Takeda is “now pivoting from integration to a phase of accelerating the top line and ramping up investment in our innovative pipeline.”


Most important, perhaps, was the announcement of the USD 12.9 billion revenue it has obtained so far by selling assets in order to pay up the debt acquired to buy Shire in 2019. The sales were mostly in OTC and consumer goods, a move to continue focusing on “core assets” which include businesses in gastroenterology, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, oncology and neuroscience. “The businesses we have divested are no-growth businesses and in many cases declining,” Weber explained in a press conference.


The CEO explained that the company is experiencing “growth momentum” on its pipeline, including 12 approvals across key markets.


On the downside, Takeda’s revenue decreased 2.8 percent from fiscal year 2019, something the company attributed to foreign exchange and the recent divestures. In addition, Bloomberg reported recently that, according to an AbbVie consultant, internal files show the Japanese company sought to limit shortages of the cancer drug Lupron in its home market despite knowing that the measures would lead to shortages for American patients.