Takeshita named new global head of R&D at Daiichi Sankyo

Daiichi Sankyo announced Monday that Dr. Ken Takeshita will be named the new global head of research & development as of April 1.

Daiichi Sankyo makes its U.S. headquarters in Basking Ridge.

Takeshita joins Daiichi Sankyo from Kite Pharma, a Gilead company, where he was senior vice president and global head of development since 2019, and interim head of research.

Daiichi Sankyo said Takeshita is a highly experienced physician with deep experience in oncology and rare diseases.

Prior to Kite, he served as senior vice president of clinical research at Sorrento Therapeutics and corporate vice president of clinical R&D at Celgene. He has led full-scale global drug development programs across hematological and solid tumors at Kite, Celgene and Amgen.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ken into the Daiichi Sankyo family to lead global R&D in our continued transformation into a global oncology leader and to pursue world-class science and technology,” CEO Sunao Manabe said. “Ken brings remarkable depth and breadth of experience to our organization — from firsthand patient care to overseeing more than 20 registrational trials leading to many regulatory approvals. I am confident that Ken is the right leader to bring Daiichi Sankyo into our next phase of drug discovery and development, as we innovate and deliver practice-changing medicines to our global community.”

Takeshita said he is eager to join the company.

“I am honored to join the Daiichi Sankyo R&D organization to seek to extend and improve lives of patients and eliminate cancer altogether,” he said. “I look forward to bringing the company’s antibody drug conjugates and new, innovative modalities to more patients and to working in a unique company culture with Japanese roots, fitting of a world-class global organization.”

Takeshita will succeed Dr. Junichi Koga, who will retire from the position after an illustrious career that includes more than 12 years at Daiichi Sankyo.