Tokyo, Japan, September 2, 2009- Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”, Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masafumi Nogimori) announced today that it has established a fund laboratory “Genome Medical Science Laboratory” of Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo (Location: Tokyo, Professor: Hiroyuki Mano) on September 1, 2009.

Malignant tumor is the most common cause of death in adults in developed countries and approximately 8 million people died from malignant tumor every year worldwide. The number of death caused by malignant tumor in developed countries are increasing and efficacy of the current treatment using anticancer agent has already reached its limit.

This fund laboratory seeks to elucidate the mechanism of tumorigenesis through large analysis of clinical samples using latest genomics technologies and to develop new treatment for cancer.
In this fund lecture, it will assemble cDNA*1 expression libraries, from numbers of intracellular tumor clinical samples aiming at the functional screening of expressed genes in clinical samples. And genetic abnormality, which causes various cancer character such as transformability*2 and tolerance of antitumor agents, will be identified. In addition, it will elucidate the mechanism of tumorigenesis based on sequence abnormality through large sequencing analysis in cancer clinical sample genome.

Astellas will contribute to the development of oncology research through this fund laboratory.

Summary of the Fund Laboratory
Name of University: Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, the University of Tokyo
Name of laboratory: Genome Medical Science Laboratory
Amount of fund: 150 million Japanese yen, total (Of those, Astellas to fund 15 million per year for 5 years)
Period: September 2009 to August 2014
Faculty: Hiroyuki Mano (Professor, Division of Functional Genomics, Jichi Medical University Graduate School of Medicine, concurrently)
Young Lim Choi
Objectives: Elucidation of mechanism of tumorigenesis

*1cDNA (complimentary DNA): single-helix DNA having complimentary base sequence with mRNA. It will be synthesized from a mature mRNA template in a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme reverse transcriptase.

*2transformability: Ability to transform characters of cultured cell to tumor cell.