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Astellas Pharma : Corporate Strategic Plan 2021—dedicated to realization

09/30/2021 | 05:32am EST

Astellas' Corporate Strategic Plan 2021 (CSP2021) is charged with realizing the company's VISION of standing "on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients." The plan shines a spotlight on Astellas' most important task for the next five years leading up to 2025-to ensure the company builds upon its current foundations and achieves results. Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., President and CEO, explains his motivation to successfully execute CSP2021 and deliver the strategies by utilizing Astellas' strengths.

CSP2018-breaking away from our conventional business model

It is essential that CSP2021 builds on the solid foundations we have put in place over the last three years and leads to results. These foundations are a result of CSP2018, the corporate strategic plan Astellas announced when I took over as CEO. CSP2018 was a major turning point for us as it implemented a drastically different business model that we had conceived and conducted feasibility testing on throughout the 2010s.

In 2011, when I was Vice President of Product & Portfolio Strategy, I was tasked with putting together a 10-year forecast for the company. While creating the forecast, I realized the limitations of the business model at that time, which was focused on the continuous production of new drugs in relatively narrow disease areas. I sensed that without a major overhaul, Astellas would be facing a fundamental decline in R&D productivity. Drug discovery takes many years, and patents for drugs already on the market eventually expire. These facts meant we had to implement urgent reforms before it was too late, to free ourselves from a business model centered on specific disease areas such as urology, immunosuppressants, oncology, among others.

These challenging circumstances led to the creation of what would become a fundamental business model shift-the Focus Area Approach. Rather than deciding upon a specific disease area and initiating R&D, the Focus Area Approach first identifies a drug target (biology) which expresses clear relation to the root cause of the disease. The target, a biology in which we have built experience, may be a specific protein, enzyme, cell, or gene. Once identified, an optimal therapeutic modality is selected to modify or regulate the target. Through this approach, we can identify diseases where the combination of biology and modality are likely to show the most efficacy, while also taking into account diseases that have high unmet medical needs for 15-20 years to come and the feasibility of clinical development. Since around 2015, Astellas has progressively increased the allocation of management resources to the Focus Area Approach.

After this gradual build-up, the Focus Area Approach came to the forefront as the centerpiece of CSP2018. From this point, I prioritized the investment of management resources into R&D aligned with the principles of the approach. Looking back over the past three years, it is clear we made the right decision in shifting our business model because it has enabled us to turn scientific advances into innovative treatments for the future and subsequently offer patients real value.

Click here to access CSP2018.


Astellas Pharma Inc. published this content on 30 September 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 30 September 2021 09:31:02 UTC.

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Kenji Yasukawa President, CEO & Representative Director
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Yoshitsugu Shitaka Chief Scientific Officer
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