LONDON, April 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on the fifth anniversary since its formation, Astellas Pharma Europe has confirmed that it will continue its emphasis on transplantation and urology while moving towards a new vision to build a strong presence in oncology. Astellas has shown robust growth since its creation, expanding its reach into new therapeutic areas and already achieving Category Leadership status in urology and transplantation in Europe.

Masao Yoshida, President and CEO of Astellas Pharma Europe, commented: Our vision at Astellas is focused on changing tomorrow for patients. The last five years have been a remarkable success, adding innovative new medicines to our portfolio which tackle key areas of unmet medical need. We are committed to continuing to bring our vision to life and it is very exciting for the company to begin to focus on the area of oncology.

Since its formation from the merger of Fujisawa and Yamanouchi in 2005, Astellas has adopted a four-part strategy to deliver sales growth significantly above the industry average - franchise expansion, movement into new markets, emphasis on marketing excellence and a commitment to becoming a pharmaceutical employer of choice.

Astellas will continue to develop its expertise and offerings in its five key franchise areas. Astellas already has leading and best in class products in the fields of transplantation (Prograf(TM), Advagraf(TM) and Modigraf(TM)), urology (Vesicare(TM)) and dermatology (Protopic(TM)) in addition to innovative recent and forthcoming launches in anti-infectives (Mycamine(TM) and Vibativ(TM)) and pain (Qutenza(TM)).

Oncology will become Astellas Europe's sixth franchise focus. Prostate cancer therapy, Eligard(R), is already available in selected markets and initial steps towards expanding the oncology capability have begun with the acquisition of Agensys Inc - a biotech subsidiary of Astellas that is developing a pipeline of therapeutic fully human monoclonal antibodies to treat a range of solid tumour cancers. A number of these molecules are currently in Phase I and II trials. The other outcome is MDV3100, a novel, triple acting oral androgen receptor antagonist licensed in from Medivation Inc. and currently in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

We are very proud of the growth we have achieved since our company's formation five years ago. Applying our core values of innovation and fulfilling unmet medical needs, we have developed and diversified our business from just two therapy areas on the market in 2005, to five franchise areas and a promising pipeline today added Mr Yoshida. Going forward, we are aiming to help patients living with cancer, as well as continue to address and overcome the challenges in the fields of Transplantation, Urology, Dermatology, Anti-Infectives and Pain Management.

Marketing excellence, becoming an employer of choice and expanding into new markets are core aspects of Astellas' development plans for the next five years. The company's dramatic progress in marketing excellence has been recognised by several recent awards, including the 2010 PharmaTimes European Marketing Company of the Year. The drive for excellence continues and sales training initiatives and enhanced working practices have been put in place to support this goal in the coming years. Attracting, growing and retaining top talent is a priority for the company and several programmes, including a unique leadership recognition and training scheme, are already helping Astellas to become an employer of choice in the pharmaceutical industry. Geographically, Astellas will continue its programme of rapid and strategic yet prudent expansion, with a firm focus on emerging markets.

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 pharmaceuticals. 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 Ltd. is responsible for 20 affiliate offices located across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an RD site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs approximately 3,400 staff across these regions. For more information about Astellas Pharma Europe, please visit

SOURCE: Astellas Pharma Europe Limited

CONTACT: Contacts for enquiry or additional information: Astellas PharmaEurope, Mindy Dooa, Corporate Communications Director, Tel:+44(0)1784-419-408, Email: KetchumPleon, DafniKokkidi, Account Director, Tel: +44(0)20-7611-3591,