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About Research & Development

The discovery and development of innovative new medicines is the foundation of our business at Astellas.

We have over 2,800 scientists working in Research & Development worldwide and invest one fifth of our global annual sales in R&D – that means more than 1.5 billion Euros each year.

Astellas aims to go beyond all others in exploring and tapping the potential of the life sciences. At a time when other pharmaceutical companies are consolidating their R&D capabilities, Astellas is in a period of extraordinary progress and growth in innovation. At our Drug Discovery Research Centre in Japan, scientists strive to discover new chemical entities with the potential to influence the biological processes that cause diseases. The most promising new candidates are then investigated in rigorous clinical trial programmes to assess their efficacy and safety at state-of-the-art research centres in Europe, Japan and America (overseen by our Drug Development Headquarters in Illinois, USA).

Acquisition of specialist companies such as Agensys (an expert in therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for cancer) has augmented our in-house expertise. Our ‘multi-track’ approach to R&D has also seen recent collaborations with a wide range of academic and biotechnology organisations with complementary capabilities, to co-develop important new candidates. The next phase of our ongoing R&D investment includes expansion into new therapeutic areas and innovative technologies such as regenerative medicine. With rapidly expanding R&D capability, Astellas has leapt into a top 15 position in the Pharma Productive Innovation Index 2013¹, which ranks companies based on their ability to commercialise new molecules.

1. IDEA Pharma Productive Innovation Index (PII) Accesible via: Last accessed: 06 May 2014

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