Takeda to lay off over 600 employees in Cambridge, Lexington


Despite a rosy outlook, the largest life sciences company in Massachusetts says the layoffs are part of a restructuring plan.

A view of supplies on shelves in a Takeda lab in Cambridge. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe, File

Takeda, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, is laying off 641 employees in Massachusetts.

According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act report, the company is laying off 495 employees in Cambridge and 146 in Lexington. The layoffs will begin in July 2024 and end in March 2025.

The layoffs come weeks after the company announced a “multi-year efficiency program” at its May 9 financial quarterly meeting.

“As we work to bring these initiatives to fruition, difficult choices will also be required, and some employees will be impacted as a result,” a spokesperson from the company said in a statement. “This is not an initiative to reduce staff, and we are working diligently to limit the amount of impact for our employees.”

The company says it will assist employees in finding other opportunities at Takeda as it creates new roles and transitions resources and consultation services.

At the quarterly meeting, Christopher Weber, president and CEO of Takeda, said that despite “significant generic headwinds” due to the loss of exclusivity of its ADHD drug Vyvanse in the U.S., new developments are on the horizon.

“So, our long-term outlook is bright,” he said.

The company is working on three recently approved drugs from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and plans to have up to six new programs in late development this year.

The company reported 4,268.8 billion yen, or around $270.80 billion, in revenue, with a 1.5% growth in operating sales.

Weber said the company is considering using data technology and AI to create a more efficient global organization and that recent acquisitions will result in some reorganization. 

As of 2023, Takeda had 6,290 employees in Massachusetts, as shown in the most recent Industry Snapshot of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, which found the company to be the largest life sciences employer in the state.

“We are committed to our presence in Massachusetts and are confident that we will remain the largest life sciences employer in the state, with Cambridge serving as our global hub for Takeda as we prepare for continued growth,” the spokesperson said.

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