Japanese pharma company Astellas has announced plans to shake up its global R&D operations, involving a one-off cost of $108m in its current financial year. All of these changes are expected to happen by March 2014. Job losses are anticipated, but have not yet been announced.
The company will introduce a new entity, Astellas Innovation Management, to make continued use of its strengths in, while drawing more widely and systematically on innovation opportunities arising in areas such as bio-venture companies and academia. Within each therapeutic area, research units will be assigned broader authority and responsibility to promote their autonomy and agility. The firm’s current “Multi-Track R&D” process will be implemented at an earlier stage of the research process. Highly prioritized research projects will be classified as “Fast Track”, and research and development time will be minimized through the focused investment of both capabilities and resources.
In addition to these changes, the company will close its operations at OSI Pharmaceuticals and Perseid Therapeutics, and scale back the Astellas Research Institute of America to focus solely on CNS therapies. Some of the research activities from these facilities will be transferred to Astellas’ Tsubuka Research Center.