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Top Management Discussion

Photo: Kenji Yasukawa

Speaking with the CSTO&CCO Maximizing the Product Value

Achieving Sustained Growth through
Long-Term Portfolio Management

Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D. Representative Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Commercial Officer (CSTO&CCO)

Q: How will you expand the growth drivers to overcome the patent cliff?

A: We analyze the internal and external environment rigorously and continue to review our portfolio with a long-term view.

The patent cliff, impacts on business performance due to patent expiry of major products, is an issue that we must overcome by undertaking long-term portfolio management. Every year, Astellas rigorously analyzes the internal and external environment and updates its long-term strategy. In the process, we select fields where we can succeed in tandem with continuously revising our product portfolio and pipeline.

XTANDI and the OAB treatment franchise, our current growth drivers, are in the stage to steadily execute the strategies we drew up at launch, and we have made largely solid progress. Looking at our future growth drivers, we have a number of projects in late-stage clinical development, such as gilteritinib and roxadustat. Moreover, the acquisitions of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG and Ogeda SA added exciting projects in our pipeline. We will also invest in the cell therapy program which we obtained from acquired Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. We expect these projects to contribute to our medium-term growth. Astellas has a portfolio fully capable of achieving sustained growth over the next 5 to 10 years.

Q: As drug prices come under increasing pressure, how will you raise product value?

A: We will seek to obtain an understanding from various stakeholders by striving to effectively prove the value our products deliver.

In the areas of serious diseases and fields with unmet medical needs, Astellas will continue to provide high value by turning innovative science into new medicines promptly. In order to continuously create new value, drug prices must reflect the value of drugs, in conjunction with ensuring patientsf access to drugs. To do so, Astellas must prove the value of drugs to stakeholders. Until now, we have proven the value of drugs through conducting numerous clinical trials, including comparisons with existing drugs and the use in various types of patient populations. However, the need to conduct multiple trials has been one factor behind surging drug prices. Going forward, it will become increasingly important to prove the value of new drugs efficiently by utilizing regulatory systems for obtaining early approval of innovative drugs, real-world data and other methods. As this will require arrangements such as the introduction of new systems, Astellas will also work to gain the mutual understanding of society toward these developments.

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