Japan, January 27, 2006 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (headquarters: Tokyo; president and CEO: Toichi Takenaka; hereafter "Astellas") today announced that it has established Astellas Venture Management LLC (headquarters: Los Altos, CA; president: Yoshitaka Yoneyama; hereafter "AVM"), a company managing venture investment business into emerging biotech companies that are dedicated to developing new pharmaceutical seeds, or constructing a new drug discovery platform on a global basis.

Before the merger to become Astellas, former Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. were successfully operating respective venture investment business in the U.S. Yamanouchi Venture Capital LLC (YVC) and Fujisawa Investments for Entrepreneurship, L. P. (FITE) were frontrunners in venture investment business established by Japanese pharmaceutical companies. As Astellas, Astellas Venture Capital LLC, renamed from YVC, has continued to invest and supported the growth of promising emerging biotechnology companies. AVM manages all venture investment business of former Yamanouchi and Fujisawa as well as newly established limited partnership, Astellas Venture Fund I L.P. By establishing AVM, Astellas now has consolidated its venture investment business under AVM.

AVM's investment objective is to find out a venture company with a proprietary technology and facilitate its growth by utilizing Astellas' experience and network within a biotechnology field. AVM's ability to offer not only investment funds, but also the Astellas Group's powerful combination of scientific and technical expertise, depth of drug development and marketing knowledge and long-term business perspective, can give entrepreneurs and investors the very best chance for their rapid growth and success.

About Astellas Venture Management LLC

President Yoshitaka Yoneyama
Established September 22, 2005
Total Capitalization under Management US $67,500,000


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