#UK Horizon offers to soften blow of Takeda Cambridge job cuts


horizon discovery, takeda, gene

Gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery has thrown a lifeline to cell and molecular biologists set to lose their jobs in the impending closure of Takeda’s Cambridge Science Park research hub.

Takeda’s decision – forced by a change in R & D focus – to retrench to Japan and the US and quit the UK – coincides with Horizon doubling the size of its Cambridge headquarters and significantly expanding its cell biology and molecular biology capabilities over the coming months.

As news leaked of Takeda’s ‘Cambridge closure’ decision over the weekend, Horizon CEO Dr Darrin Disley stepped in to offer: “I would positively encourage applications from biologists who find themselves laid off.”

Horizon is finding itself increasingly in demand internationally as it pursues its personalised medicines focus and is urgently seeking molecular biology and cell biology expertise to service client and internal projects.

Takeda is looking to close Cambridge and other UK operations by the end of this year – a decision that has stunned life science & technology observers who had been lauding the escalation of its Science Park facilities only recently.

One source told me: “No-one saw this coming – particularly as Takeda has heavily invested in Cambridge and the Japanese are always on top of their five-year plans and projections.”

Parent Takeda Pharmaceuticals needs to find an estimated $725 million to build a new pipeline of drugs so has to streamline its global operations.

The company revealed that it will be consulting with staff on a proposed closure in Cambridge and management insisted the decision had nothing to do with the Brexit vote.

The news of Takeda’s impending departure also throws fresh light on the proposed $31 billion takeover of Cambridge technology great ARM Holdings by the Japanese group SoftBank.

The Japanese corporate culture is to engage cautiously but once engaged to commit to ventures long term – a concept that Takeda would appear to have torpedoed.

Horizon Discovery is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and its reputation in the global scientific community as the ‘go to’ cell builder is soaring.

The company has twice won Business Weekly’s coveted Business of the Year title among a host of global awards and is investing massively in its Cambridge Research Park facilities and personnel.

Its own growth offers a number of employment opportunities and continues the Cambridge cluster’s track record of ‘recycling’ life science jobs that would otherwise be lost abroad.

• Cell and molecular biologists across the cluster or globally can email Dr Disley – Darrin.Disley [at] horizondiscovery.com

from Business Weekly http://ift.tt/2bw8Vs7

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