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CEO Message On the Forefront of Healthcare Change to Turn Innovative Science into Value for Patients Yoshihiko Hatanaka Representative Director, President and CEO

Initiatives to Drive Medium- to Long-Term Growth

Anticipating Changes and Moving Toward Long-Term Growth

We have also made significant progress with various initiatives to realize long-term growth.
It is critical to pursue the challenges inherent in new therapeutic areas, technologies and modalities in terms of “Creating Innovation.” In February 2016, we successfully acquired Ocata Therapeutics, Inc., which was engaged in R&D in cell therapies for ophthalmic diseases. Ocata’s activities were a good strategic fit for Astellas from the perspective of a newly selected focus area and new technology we are exploring. We will continue to positively consider potential acquisitions, alliances and in-licensing opportunities. As part of focusing our investments on functional sources of competitive advantage, we transferred our global dermatology business to LEO Pharma A/S. This is a good example of the optimal allocation of business resources in “Pursuing Operational Excellence.” Through these kinds of activities, we aim to create an organization and system that can respond resiliently to changes in the business environment.

Creating Innovation by Taking Ownership and Respecting Diversity

Our vision and strategies provide a common language uniting Astellas, which has a diverse workforce in terms of values and perspectives. My belief is that the driving force behind creating innovation will come from encouraging every individual employee to take ownership and move ahead step-by-step by translating the vision and strategic goals into daily work activities.
Over the past three years, we have established more than 20 joint research programs with external institutions and biotechnology companies. As part of this process, we have steadily entrenched the approach of actively incorporating the distinctive characteristics and R&D methodologies of our partners. The cycle of respecting and embracing diversity and converting our partners’ advantages into our own strengths is an essential element in building the platform for the sustained growth of Astellas.
Our business conditions are in constant flux. As shown in prominent recent advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the field of artificial intelligence, the advances of various scientific areas driven by their interaction and fusion are creating new business opportunities for Astellas. Meanwhile, as the public cost of healthcare continues to increase, the question of how to balance patient access to medicines and innovation requires our proactive initiative. Under such conditions, we cannot create any competitive advantage if we are reactive to change. Moving ahead faster than change and never being satisfied with the status quo are part of the DNA of Astellas. While making the most of our strengths in transplantation and urology, we will always seek and strive to take advantage of good opportunities in other fields, and we are steadily gaining the ability to act on those opportunities. We see our future success in terms of facing the ongoing challenge of utilizing cutting-edge science to create innovative drugs and therapies.

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