Healthcare Industry News:  cell therapy 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - October 1, 2019

Astellas Commits Nearly $13 Million to Fund Boston-Area Start-Up Innovation in Cell and Gene Therapy

Financial Support for LabCentral Incubators Builds on Astellas' $1 Billion+ Investment in Boston's Life Science Community

TOKYO, Oct. 1, 2019 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., "Astellas") today announced it will invest nearly $13 million into two innovation incubators operated by LabCentral, a premier United States-based laboratory facility for next-generation biotech start-ups. This initiative, combined with the more than $1 billion Astellas has previously committed to driving innovation in Massachusetts, contributes to the Boston-area life science community's ongoing efforts to accelerate the discovery and development of potential breakthrough therapies in areas of significant unmet need.

"Astellas has a long-standing commitment to the Boston-area life sciences ecosystem, where world-class talent are dedicated to turning innovative science into value for patients," said Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., President and CEO, Astellas. "Our presence in the greater Boston area comprises over 200 professionals across several locations driving innovation in regenerative medicine, immuno-oncology, mitochondrial function, genetic regulation and beyond. Accelerating early-stage scientific innovation in areas such as cell and gene therapy is a strategic focus for Astellas, and is superbly aligned with the mission of LabCentral to serve as a launching-pad for cutting-edge biotech and life sciences start-ups."

Astellas will invest $12.5 million to become the only pharmaceutical/biotechnology company among five Founding Sponsors of a new incubator, which will feature a core lab space where companies can easily conduct process development studies and a non-GMP pilot plant, being developed by LabCentral at 238 Main Street in Cambridge, Mass. The investment, announced at a ceremony with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and various elected officials, provides support to start-up companies and entrepreneurial founders seeking to create scientific innovation in areas of unmet need such as cell and gene therapy. The new incubator is expected to be operational in 2021.

Astellas also today announced it will invest at least $450,000 over three years to become a Gold Sponsor of LabCentral's existing incubator located at 700 Main Street in Cambridge.

By supporting these incubators, Astellas can select, support and access innovation from leading start-ups creating healthcare solutions in its areas of focus.

Since 2010, Astellas has invested more than $800 million in, and committed nearly $500 million more to, Massachusetts-based innovation through the acquisitions of Ocata Therapeutics, Inc., Mitobridge, Inc. and Potenza Therapeutics, Inc., as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art headquarters for the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM) in Westborough, Mass. The new facility, expected to open in 2020, will enable AIRM to accelerate research and development in the field of regenerative medicine and cell therapy.

The impact of this agreement on Astellas' financial results in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 will be limited.

About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information, please visit our website at

Cautionary Notes

In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management's current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas' intellectual property rights by third parties.

Source: Astellas Pharma

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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