On 23 November 2023, Takeda’s Research & Development organization in Vienna hosted its first “Takeda R&D in Focus” event in collaboration with LISAvienna. Geared at innovators working on new solutions in the fields of sustainability, digital acceleration, and biotherapeutics processing toolbox, the event saw Takeda R&D teams present their own projects and capability in these areas to over 60 external guests. At three carefully curated booths, R&D experts displayed their capabilities to make their labs more sustainable, more automated, and overall, more efficient.
“The reason we hosted this event is because at Takeda we seek innovation, and partner to develop it, wherever it resides. Partnership is a central element of our R&D strategy. We work with partners to create complementary collaborations where our global reach, scientific expertise and clinical excellence can help them bring their scientific innovation and vision to patients,” said Manfred Rieger, Takeda R&D Site Head, who kicked off the afternoon event.
“We hope that by presenting our capabilities, our guests could learn more about us and maybe help establish lasting partnerships in R&D. Takeda nurtures over 200 active collaborations globally and we hope to establish some here in Vienna as well,” added Larissa Kahr, Takeda Head, External Partnership Interface Europe. She spearheaded the event alongside Elvira Kainersdorfer, Cluster Manager at LISAvienna to present to the start-up community in Vienna what Takeda R&D in Austria can do and in which areas it is seeking potential collaborations.
The location of the event was also significant: right across from the future Takeda R&D site, which is currently under construction. Takeda celebrated the groundbreaking of this future facility in September 2023 alongside high-ranking representatives from government, business, and academia. From 2026, around 250 researchers will be working at this new site on innovative new therapies for diseases with high unmet need. The facility will be constructed to the highest environmental standards, which apply to the lab spaces as well.
The new building will also provide a platform for collaborations and partnerships with leading scientific institutions and research organizations. Hence, the “Takeda R&D in Focus” event is part of Takeda’s long-term efforts to position itself as “the recognized and well-known partner of choice when working with academia and start-ups in the field of product development and technology innovation in Europe,” added Manfred Rieger.
Takeda’s sustainability efforts in its R&D operations were appreciated by the guests as well. Georg Steinkellner of Innophore noted: “We at Innophore appreciate the insightful exploration into Takeda's capabilities. The dedication to sustainability across all facets of production and research was truly impressive - a testament to Takeda's commitment to making a positive impact, which aligns seamlessly with Innophore's philosophy. Thanks to LISAvienna and the Takeda team for a great event. We are looking forward to future collaborations and innovations.”
Representatives from Holloid, who focus on high-speed 3D imaging and optical characterization remarked on the opportunity to discuss with Takeda R&D experts about their own capabilities: “We were impressed to see Takeda's efforts and projects in the three focus areas of the event - sustainability, digital acceleration and biotherapeutics processing tools - and to learn more from their experts. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss how Holloid's holographic microscopy can accelerate your R&D efforts, reduce costs, generate new insights for drug discovery and shorten time to market,” said Pinar Frank, Chief Product Officer at Holloid.
For Biopeak founder, Saren Tasciyan, being at the event was both an occasion to meet representatives of a large pharma company like Takeda as well as a chance to exchange ideas with the R&D teams: “It is often hard to reach out to decision makers in the industry to bring disruptive power of technologies into large scale applications. At the Takeda R&D in Focus event I was able to connect and exchange ideas with diverse sets of teams at Takeda. I am eager to follow-up on these, whether it is on data strategy or advanced technologies, such as microfluidics."
Thomas Maischberger, Corporate Head for Research and Development at ZETA GmbH was excited to learn about what Takeda R&D does and to discuss about the developments in advanced bioprocessing tools: “Personally, I really enjoyed the open, trusting, and honest hospitality and discussions with Takeda's R&D experts. It was great to discuss the developments around advanced bioprocessing by integrating process simulation tools. We, as ZETA, see early adaptations of this topic within the drug manufacturing arena and can learn from early and valuable R&D results. Overall, it was great to connect with Takeda’s R&D teams who are on the pulse of the times and trying to anticipate the next technology implementations together.”
“For our first-time organizing this type of event, we were pleased with the turnout and the exchange we had with external innovators. We look forward to growing these relations and fostering fruitful conversations on topics that are relevant to our R&D organization,” summarized Larissa Kahr.