We define the biologies and modalities/technologies that may become Primary Focus areas that we concentrate our R&D investments in as Primary Focus Candidates.

 

Cancer Genomic Alteration

Cancer Genomic Alteration

 

Our aspiration is to deliver disruptive clinical benefit for selected cancer patients by inhibiting pathologic genomic signaling. We will achieve our goal by eliminating critical cancer drivers and providing solution for acquired resistance as well.

Many critical cancer drivers were thought to be “undruggable.” Growing scientific knowledge, and evolution of technology, like PROTAC, shallow pocket and RNA binders enable us to access, eliminate, or reprogram these driver mutations. Increasing number of newly discovered cancer targets expand the potentially addressable cancer types as well. Astellas has established deep R&D and commercial expertise in developing and commercializing targeted medicines to selected patients (erlotinib and gilteritinib).

We are highly focused on building a novel pipeline of targeted medicines as monotherapy, and as combination partners for immune oncology medicines.

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Immune Homeostasis

Immune Homeostasis

 

Our vision for Primary Focus Candidates Immune Homeostasis is to deliver curative therapies for patients suffering from immune-related diseases. Current treatments, such as corticosteroids, are mainly symptomatic treatments that suppress the entire immune response and may cause serious adverse side effects and increased risk of infection. In addition, most autoimmune diseases are chronic and difficult to control and/or cure. Safe and effective treatments that could specifically suppress the pathogenic immune response would represent a significant advancement in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Immune homeostasis is the natural mechanism that maintains the balance between immunogenicity to pathogens and immune tolerance to self. Naturally-occurring immunoregulatory cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells, tolerogenic antigen presenting cells and regulatory T cells, play an important role in maintaining immune homeostasis. Our aim is to develop innovative therapeutics to restore immune equilibrium in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases, by leveraging the endogenous homeostatic mechanisms of these immunoregulatory cell types.

Astellas has a long history in research and development of various immunoregulatory drugs in the transplant/immunology field, such as Prograf. Recently, we have acquired and developed capabilities in cell-based therapy as well. We now aim to combine our immunology R&D experience and cell therapy capabilities, to develop novel immunomodulatory cell therapies. In addition, we are exploring innovative technology that can induce endogenous immunoregulatory cells in collaboration with external partners.

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