- To become an agile organization where each drug discovery team autonomously creates VALUE -

TOKYO, August 6, 2021  - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) will change its research organization as of October 1, 2021 as follows.

This organizational change aims to establish a more agile research organization in order to maximize synergies between divisions, build a competitive portfolio, and  continue to deliver innovative therapies to patients.

In "Translate Innovative Science into Proven VALUE," which is stated as one of the Strategic Goals of Corporate Strategic Plan 2021, we will increase the value of our pipeline by prioritizing the investment of our resources into multiple programs that originated from the Focus Area approach of our R&D strategy. To achieve this goal, the new organization intends to transform the function-based, traditional waterfall model into an agile model where each drug discovery team is motivated to create innovative drugs autonomously under the supervision of Chief Scientific Officer (CScO). The current Drug Discovery Research (DDR) will be dissolved, functions and employees will be reallocated to new divisions, and the position of President of DDR will be eliminated.


1.Advance the biotech-like venture model to enhance productivity and agility.

■ Discovery Accelerator will be established to create innovative candidates using the agile and flexible venture unit model, and it will deliver assets to the portfolio that will lead to following Primary Focuses.

■ Research functions currently in DDR will be transformed into divisions that directly report to the CScO and operate as autonomous and agile drug discovery engines.

2.Further enhance and evolve our core capabilities as an established pharmaceutical company.

■ Applied Research & Operations, which will provide high pharma core capabilities and appropriate standards, as well as state-of-the-art research platforms to the entire research organization, will be established to enhance the quality and speed to investigational new drug (IND) and ensure continuous product delivery.

■ Early-Stage Partnering will be established to develop a wide range of early-stage partnering and investment opportunities to enrich the entire Astellas early-stage pipeline.

3.Establish an optimal organization & operating model to maximize productivity from a global perspective.

■ Strategy & Operations will be established to support the CScO and Leadership Team to maximize the synergy of each research engine’s strengths and promote efficient use of resources. 

■ Affiliate Engagement will be established to guide and support affiliates that have joined or will join the Astellas group to fully leverage their value in the greater Astellas group.

With the new research organization, Astellas will continue to contribute to the health of people around the world by providing innovative and reliable drugs.


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