Takeda Pharmaceutical Co is continuing its expansion plans outside Japan and is setting up a sales and marketing division in Portugal while integrating its manufacturing operations in Ireland.

Takeda Portugal started to provide Glustin (pioglitazone), the diabetes blockbuster sold elsewhere as Actos via wholesalers on a demand-only basis in September last year, the firm said. The Osaka-based company plans to start its sales and marketing operations in Portugal within the next few months, a move which will “enhance its business infrastructure in Europe”.

The establishment of the Portuguese unit “represents the fourth geographic expansion for Takeda this year, following Canada, Spain and the Republic of Ireland,” said Alan MacKenzie of Takeda Pharmaceuticals International. He added that the company’s expansion efforts in the Americas and Europe, as well as Asia “will play a significant role in helping us realise our vision of becoming a leading pharmaceutical company with highly integrated global operations”.

News of the Portuguese arm being set up came as the Japanese drugmaker announced that it is merging two manufacturing units in Ireland. Takeda Ireland Ltd in Kilruddery, which formulates the antihypertensive Blopress (candesartan cilexetil), the antiulcerant Prevacid (lansoprazole) as well as Actos for the European and North American markets, will absorb Takeda Pharma Ireland.

The latter, based in Dublin, manufactures the active ingredient for the company’s insomnia treatment Rozerem (ramelteon). The move will allow for “increased efficiency in support functions, greater productivity and reduced costs, thanks to an integrated production management system that covers all processes, from API to drug formulation,” said Takashi Inkyo, general manager of pharmaceutical production at Takeda.