UMN’s BioTechnology Institute and Takeda Pharmaceutical Announce Training Partnership Focused on Biopharma

March 15  

The University of Minnesota’s BioTechnology Institute (BTI), in conjunction with the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), and Tokyo-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., through its subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceuticals, have entered into an advanced workforce training partnership. They recently received a grant awarded by the State of Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP) Board to kick start their training efforts. 

Over the next three years, BTI will provide advanced biopharmaceutical training for up to 125 Takeda employees working at its biologics manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The training program will consist of six courses focused on a range of topics based on current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), technical writing, facility operations and the product life cycle of biologics.

“This partnership allows the University of Minnesota to address a growing workforce need in our state. Through it, we are laying the foundation to provide continuing education for the biopharma and biotechnology industry in Minnesota.”

BTI Director Michael Sadowsky

When fully operational in 2019, the Brooklyn Park facility will be Takeda’s first large-scale monoclonal antibody production plant initially supplying Entyvio to patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The site is the largest facility in Minnesota devoted to biologics manufacturing, providing a foundation for manufacturing of medicinal biologics in the state. 

“Takeda is excited to be partnering with the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences and BioTechnology Institute,” said Michael Gramer, Takeda’s Sr. Director of Technical Operations. “The new training curriculum will support the development of our current and future workforce, further enabling us to provide medicines that positively impact the lives of patients around the world.”

Along with developing and implementing this program to address immediate training and skill requirements, BTI is currently aligning its academic programs to better develop and deliver a workforce to meet the needs of Minnesota’s more than 150 biopharmaceutical companies. 

“Through this unique partnership, we are going to be able to offer training that can be scaled and expanded to help grow the state’s biotechnology workforce, which includes our own students,” said CBS Dean Valery Forbes. “It fills a very real need while also providing new opportunities for our graduates.”


About the College of Biological Sciences

The College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota is one of two colleges in the United States dedicated to the biological sciences with undergraduate majors and graduate programs that cover the spectrum of life from molecules to ecosystems. Learn more at

About the BioTechnology Institute

BTI provides advanced research, training, and university-industry interaction in biological process technology, a major area of biotechnology research. The Institute is the central University of Minnesota vehicle for coordinated research in the biological, chemical, and engineering aspects of biotechnology.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical

Takeda has maintained a strong and growing commitment to the United States for more than 50 years. On January 8, 2019, Takeda completed its acquisition of Shire, PLC, becoming a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader. In the U.S., Takeda employs more than 18,000 employees across multiple business units, and as of August 2019, will be headquartered out of the greater Boston area. Additionally, Takeda also has a research facility in San Diego, California, specialty products manufacturing facilities in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota and plasma fractionation manufacturing facilities in Covington, Georgia. As one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, Takeda is committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter future to people worldwide. We aspire to bring our leadership in translating science into life-changing medicines to the next level, in our core focus areas; oncology, gastroenterology, neuroscience, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, and vaccines.

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