Our Focus Area Approach
Astellas has established a Focus Area Approach for its research and development strategy. Specifically, our Focus Area Strategy is defined as combinations of three components: (1) biologies with high disease relevance, (2) versatile modalities/technologies, and (3) diseases with high unmet medical needs that are expected to be tackled by the first two components. We view this strategy as a way to build a sustainable, expandable drug discovery approach to develop new platforms, leverage expertise and create innovative products.
The Focus Area is constantly adapting in response to advances in science and changes in disease treatment paradigms.
In the past, we have achieved success by identifying business opportunities from a disease domain perspective, based on the concept of the Global Category Leader (GCL) model. However, given major changes in the healthcare industry environment, we realize that identifying drug discovery opportunities more flexibly and efficiently is becoming crucial to continuously create new drugs and bring VALUE for patients. To this end, we developed our Focus Area Approach. It is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs by focusing on biology, modalities, and technologies regardless of the disease area.
We will continue to develop new drug candidates for diseases with high unmet medical needs based on our expertise in each biology, modality, and technology that make up the Focus Area. What is particularly noteworthy is that the Focus Area Approach is not fixed, but continuously evolving by adapting its components to reflect the progress of research and development and the latest progress in science and technology. This will allow Astellas to develop its strengths while flexibly and efficiently identifying and realizing new drug discovery opportunities.
In particular, Primary Focus is a specific focal point within our Focus Area Approach where a lead and follow-on projects show a clear R&D path with expected commercial feasibility. Based on criteria such as higher scientific validity and identification of leads and follow-on programs, we are currently working on four Primary Focus.
Systematic Evolution to Identify Primary Focus
Based on a Focus Area Approach, we concentrate our R&D investments on Primary Focus, and work to develop innovative treatments. These include Blindness & Regeneration, which offers new treatment options such as cell therapy for restoring and maintaining vision; Mitochondria Biology, which tackles development of mitochondrial replacement therapy; Genetic Regulation, which works on making progress in gene therapy; and Immuno-Oncology, which works on discovering, developing and delivering the best innovative cancer medicines to patients.
We also identify Biology, Modalities/Technology that may become Primary Focus in the future as Primary Focus Candidates, e.g. Targeted protein degradation, Immune Homeostasis.
As areas of interest for Astellas, which are much earlier than Primary Focus and Primary Focus Candidates, we are exploring Biology, Modality/Technology, e.g. Targeted Therapeutics for Auditory Regeneration, Autophagy.
The following diagram shows how our research and development areas evolve step by step.
Click Read More to see the details of each step.
You can swipe the diagram.