STAINES, England, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday 19th March 2009, at a ceremony held at the 24th annual EAU congress in Stockholm, Sweden, the Astellas European Foundation announced the winner of the 2009 Urology Prize. Dr Wouter Everaerts, MD and his team from the KU Leuven, Belgium were awarded the prize in the amount of US$ 300,000 to support their work in investigating the role of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels in Over Active Bladder (OAB).

The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity, formed in 2005 with the long-term goal of providing support for programmes and activities that contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. The Astellas European Foundation Urology Award was established in 2006 to acknowledge Astellas' strong commitment to Urology. Since its inception, the programme has provided over US$1.2 million to support basic medical and related scientific programmes which contribute to advancements in Urology.

This year's winning research proposal for the Astellas European Foundation Urology Award was chosen by a panel including independent European opinion leaders in Urology. Each proposal was scored independently by each member of the panel on a variety of scientific criteria. Dr John Bolodeoku, Astellas European Foundation Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs and Health Economics for Astellas Europe commented:

We received 31 entries from 12 European countries and the Foundation would especially like to acknowledge all those who submitted excellent proposals. As always, the standard of these entries was extremely high, covering a broad range of topics in Urology. However, the research project from Dr Wouter Everaerts and his team was a unanimous and clear winner, scoring highly with the panel. The research project will provide vital information to advance our understanding of the role of Transient Receptor Potential Channels in OAB.

Previous winners of the annual US$300,000 Astellas European Foundation Urology Award, include: 2008 - Dr Nadine Houédé and team, Bordeaux, France 2007 - Dr Marianne Gamper, Frauenfeld, Switzerland 2006 - Dr Kamiel Kuijpers, Nijmegan, Netherlands

At last night's event, the 2008 winners, Dr Nadine Houédé and team from Institute Bergonie in Bordeaux, France, and the 2007 winner, Dr Marianne Gamper from the Biomedical Research Foundation in Switzerland, talked about how their projects are progressing and how the prize fund has helped advance their respective research.

Dr Houédé said: The funding from the Astellas European Foundation has enabled our team to begin essential work in our research on the identification of potential novel therapies targeting high grade prostate cancers. We remain most grateful to the Foundation for its support of our project.

About Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., located in the UK, is a European subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organisation is committed to becoming a global company by combining outstanding RD and marketing capabilities and continuing to grow in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas Pharma Europe is responsible for 20 affiliate offices located across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, two RD sites and three manufacturing plants with approximately 3,300 staff.

For further information please contact: Mindy Dooa, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd, Email:, Tel: +44(0)1784-419-408, Mobile:+44(0)7826-912-339.