R&D Strategy

Astellas has established a Focus Area Approach for its research and development strategy. Specifically, our Focus Area Strategy is defined as combinations of three components: (1) biologies with high disease relevance, (2) versatile modalities/technologies, and (3) diseases with high unmet medical needs that are expected to be tackled by the first two components. We view this strategy as a way to build a sustainable, expandable drug discovery approach to develop new platforms, leverage expertise and create innovative products. We also focus on the cutting-edge technology such as cell therapy and gene therapy, and work on providing innovative healthcare treatments which can address the root cause of the diseases.


Message from R&D team

The Research division is committed to identifying flexible and efficient drug discovery opportunities through Focus Area Approach. Our emphasis is on discovering drug targets—biologies with high disease relevance—incorporating evolutions in modalities/technologies into our strategy and selecting the most effective and scientifically rational combination. Each research unit operates with a high degree of autonomy and mobility as agile organization*, and we also have embedded in our organization a mechanism for companies to evolve and achieve growth in line with research progress. Each of our researchers is acutely aware that we are part of a giant bio-ecosystem that surrounds the outside world, and our goal is to keep drug discovery at the forefront of scientific advances. For sustainable development in the future, we will be on the lookout for external collaborators such as academia and bio-ventures and will continue to create VALUE for patients.

Chief Scientific Officer(CScO)

Yoshitsugu Shitaka
Chief Scientific Officer(CScO) Yoshitsugu Shitaka

*Agile organization: An organization in which members with various expertise get together to iterate by trial and error to continuously improve solutions. There, highly delegated mission-specific units make quick decisions and act autonomously.


The Medical & Development division is a team dedicated to improving the lives of patients through developing innovative and patient-centric treatments and ensuring their appropriate and safe use throughout the product’s life cycle. To deliver our life-changing medicines to our patients as quickly as possible, we drive simultaneous drug development in leading markets worldwide, including Japan, the U.S., Europe, and Asia etc. We are also committed to accelerating our early-stage pipeline, in exciting and novel Focus Area. To adapt cutting-edge science which transform patient lives, we enhance partnerships across and outside of Astellas and accelerate talent development. We collect important information on the efficacy, safety, and quality of our products across divisions and regions to share and inform on the appropriate use of our products. In clinical trials, we are working to reduce the burden on patients and demonstrate higher value impact of our medicines by deeply understanding patient needs, leveraging digital technology and pioneering new approaches. We always put patients at the center of our development activities by aiming targeted product indications and optimal dosage and administration based on in-depth understanding of current standard of care, preclinical and clinical data, and patient outcomes. We act with a sense of urgency so we can support patients who are waiting for new treatment options.

Chief Medical Officer(CMO)

Tadaaki Taniguchi
 Chief Medical Officer(CMO) Tadaaki Taniguchi