Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2009 -Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”; headquarters: Tokyo; President and CEO: Masafumi Nogimori) announced today that it has decided to transfer the functions of its Fermentation and Biotechnology Labs.(“FBL”) from Kiyosu Research Office, Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture to Tsukuba Research Center (Tokodai), Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture and to close Kiyosu Research Office when the transfer is completed. 

FBL develops the technologies necessary to establish the manufacturing processes of drug substances for fermentation-based and antibody pharmaceuticals. The transfer is intended to further strengthen the company’s new drug discovery capability and accelerate the discovery process by ensuring closer collaboration between manufacturing process research in FBL, Tsukuba Research Center (Tokodai) and drug discovery research in Tsukuba Research Center (Miyukigaoka).

The transfer will take place in a phased manner from FY2010 through FY2011. In junction with this transfer, pilot plant for process research and facilities to manufacture drug substances for development of antibody pharmaceuticals will be established in Tsukuba Research Center (Tokodai). The total investment will be approximately 7.0 billion yen. Kiyosu Research Office will be closed after completion of the transfer within FY2012.

Astellas is consolidating its technology platforms necessary to more efficiently develop antibody pharmaceuticals in addition to its drug discovery research centered on low molecules and natural products. Astellas positions Tsukuba Research Center (Tokodai) as a foothold of biotechnology research such as fermentation and antibody and is committed to improve ability to generate new products by ensuring closer collaboration between drug discovery research and manufacturing process research.