Pharma giant embracing digital to improve treatments

Takeda China unveiled its open incubation platform – TakedaSpark – as part of its strategy to accelerate digitization and explore new business model.

Takeda China officially unveiled its open incubation platform — TakedaSpark — in Shanghai as part of its strategy to accelerate digital innovation practices for disease treatment and healthcare services.

The company will seek potential partners and new projects in three strategic areas: disease screening and diagnosis solution & its landing acceleration, drug + digital health / digital therapy solution, and data analytics & infrastructure.

More than 100 local startups are expected to join the initial selection stage, and less than 10 projects might receive incubation funding support for its PoC (Proof of Concept) implementation & market validation by the end of 2021.

As part of Takeda China's digital strategy, TakedaSpark seeks to combine Takeda’s existing disease areas expertise with emerging digital solution and technology providers.

Pharma giant embracing digital to improve treatments
Ti Gong

Sean Shan, president of Takeda China, said digitalization will be an empowering tool to expedite the company's overall efficiency.

"We hope to use flexible, innovative and high-quality products to provide better treatments for patients," said Sean Shan, president of Takeda China, who is also a member of the company's leadership committee for Growth & Emerging Markets. "Digitalization will be an empowering tool to expedite our overall efficiency, and it's also crucial for how we connect with various stakeholders and collaborators."

He said digital solutions will also multiply the benefits brought by new drugs to patients by facilitating personalized treatments and healthcare services.

TakedaSpark will launch a road show in mid-2021 where participants on the shortlist will work on the initial projects that will be reviewed by company executives to receive funding for next stage.

Pharma giant embracing digital to improve treatments

The company hopes to combine cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart IoT devices to improve the accuracy of disease screening and detection.

It will also work with partners to build up "Beyond the Pill" digital healthcare solutions, including digital therapy solutions, and explore new business service models in a digital context.

Moreover, Takeda will establish big data analysis and algorithm capabilities to gain insight into the needs of doctors and patients through big data, while improving precision marketing tools and overall efficiency.

"We aspire to become a reliable, trustworthy partner and contributor to the healthcare industry and ultimately serve 10 million Chinese patients through our new launches in the next five years," Sean said. "We want to leverage our expertise in specific disease areas, including rare diseases, oncology, Gastroenterology (GI) and Neuroscience, so we can multiply the benefits of our innovative treatment options."

Sean said the company’s aspirational plan is to introduce 15 innovative products to the Chinese market in the next five years. The company made the industry record with four new drug approvals in the country last year.

He stressed that Takeda's R&D-based efforts will be delivered to patients through new digital means, with holistic solutions and customized approaches.

"We hope to continue to be a leader in the pharmaceutical field, and recent digital trends offer us an excellent opportunity to stick to our core values and benefit patients," he said.

Pharma giant embracing digital to improve treatments

Last November, Takeda won approval from the National Medical Products Administration to introduce MyPKFiT — a Digital Therapy / Software as Medical Device product that helps track and assess pharmacokinetic (PK) dosing and help hemophilia patients receive personalized treatment.

By creating an innovative ecosystem, it will focus on creating innovative solutions that address challenges, incubating standout solutions, scaling up influence for key stakeholders and building up Takeda’s digital and data capabilities.

“Innovation at Takeda is a long-term process, and we want to make continuous improvements and keep it up in our everyday work," Sean said.

By informing and mobilizing internal employees and external partners, Takeda China hopes to form a sense of innovation and creative business model while developing talent and technological capabilities for the digital era.

To advance the adoption of new innovations and startups, the Shanghai government is encouraging multinational and local firms to carry out cross disciplinary collaborations to turn research outcomes into commercial solutions.

Director Jin Chunlin of the Shanghai Health Development Research Center spoke highly of efforts made by Takeda to foster and incubate innovations like TakedaSpark.

"Open incubation platforms allow stakeholders in the healthcare sector utilize the accumulated advantages of Shanghai's high-tech and digital healthcare players, explore and establish breakthrough digital medical innovations and bring true benefits to patients in China and around the world," Jin said.

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