TOKYO, April 25, 2022 – The University of Tokyo (President: Teruo Fujii, Ph.D.) and Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D.; hereafter “Astellas”) entered the second phase of their collaboration for co-creating innovative new medicines and medical solutions, called the Astellas Alliance Acceleration Program (AAAP), today.

In its first phase, from September 2020 to March 2022, AAAP established a base for its collaborative relationship at the university’s Institute for Life Science Research and Education, and the University of Tokyo Center of Innovation. During this period, medical and pharmaceutical researchers from the two university organizations and drug discovery researchers from Astellas nurtured an environment for open-minded discussions, and as a result, several new research projects were identified and launched successfully.

In the second phase, the University of Tokyo will expand its partnership involvement to include all of its institutions. Furthermore, a newly appointed AAAP-dedicated project manager will be stationed at the university to faciliate the collaboration. These additional intiatives will allow the strategic partners to build new research projects, by combining the University of Tokyo’s cutting-edge scientific research with Astellas’ drug discovery know-how.

“Encouraged by our close collaboration during the first phase, we are delighted to start the second phase encompassing the breadth of research at the University of Tokyo. We hope that comprehensive knowledge of the life sciences from the university will further lead to innovative drug discovery projects,” said Hidenori Ichijo, DDS, Ph.D., a professor at the university’s Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a member of the AAAP Steering Committee.

Professor Yuichi Tei / Ungil Chung, M.D., Ph.D., of the university’s Graduate School of Engineering and Graduate School of Medicine, also a member of the AAAP Steering Committee, said: “In this phase, we will further pursue interdisciplinary collaboration, such as in the fields of engineering and the life sciences, by tapping into the broad range of research at the University of Tokyo.”

"I am pleased with this AAAP second phase agreement," said Yoshitsugu Shitaka, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Astellas. He added: “By leveraging the power of the more extensive and closer collaboration, we expect to accelerate the co-creation of innovations that contribute to our activities from early drug discovery research to clinical development."

The University of Tokyo aims to find solutions to society’s problems and contribute to the development of industry by promoting the creation of value through dialogue and empathy with society. Astellas is committed to the creation of innovative medical solutions to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients under its business philosophy of "contribute toward improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products." By sharing a common vision and challenges, the University of Tokyo and Astellas will work closely to promote innovation.

 

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