Innate Immunity Research Unit

About Us

The Innate Immunity Research Unit was established in 2019 and is based in Tsukuba, Japan. Focusing on innate immunity*, we aim to develop innovative therapeutics for allergic diseases, autoimmune diseases, fibrotic diseases, infectious diseases, cancer, and other diseases. Astellas has been conducting research and development on immunomodulators and has accumulated robust experience in the immunology area. By integrating cutting-edge science and technology possessed by leading academia and bio-techs with our drug discovery experience, we aim to develop innovative therapeutics.

*Please check here for the explanation of innate immunity (Innate Lymphoid Cells).

Our Approach

We are constructing a new innate immunity research platform that leverages novel knowledges obtained from collaboration with academia, our translational research capabilities, and the research network of external experts. We will find the optimal combination of biology, diseases, and various modalities such as engineered antibodies, small molecules, nucleic acids, and cells to discover new drug candidates, based on this platform.



Yuji Saita, Ph.D.

Unit Head

Yuji Saita, Ph.D.

Dr. Saita worked as a researcher in multiple therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases and led multiple collaborative research programs with academia and venture companies. He then moved to a research portfolio planning department where he established a research strategy in immunology and immuno-oncology and was involved in multiple partnering opportunities. He assumed his present position in April 2019.