Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd Wins Scrip Award for Licensing Deal of the Year

STAINES, England, November 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., is pleased to announce it is the proud recipient of the Scrip Award for Licensing Deal of the Year at the 7th Annual Scrip Awards ceremony, which took place last night at London's Grosvenor House Hotel. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., which has 21 Sales Affiliates across Europe, the CIS, and South Africa, is the European subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas"), one of the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies.

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd's ("APEL") awards submission, 'License deal accelerates development of tivozanib and reinforces Astellas' move into oncology' won in a category shortlist that also included entries from Axcan Pharma (Aptalis Pharma) and Mpex Pharmaceuticals, Roche and Marcadia Biotech, Sanofi and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals as well as APEL with Optimer Pharmaceuticals.

The winning entry recognised that the licensing deal was a win-win for both Astellas and AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("AVEO"). AVEO is a cancer therapeutic company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing targeted therapies to impact patients' lives. Tivozanib is AVEO's flagship molecule, with an innovative mode of action designed to block the VEGF pathway by inhibiting  all three VEGF receptors, and is currently being investigated in a range of solid tumours, including advanced renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer for which new treatment options are needed. Not only does the deal enable AVEO to expand and accelerate the development of  tivozanib, but it also meets the strategic need and future focus for Astellas in oncology.

Addressing unmet medical needs in the field of oncology is a major strategic priority for Astellas and a key component of its Vision 2015 plan. Astellas' strategic imperatives for oncology treatments are to identify and develop precision medicines which leverage its current capabilities.

With extensive experience of developing and commercialising specialist products and a commitment to addressing areas of high unmet medical need, Astellas is in an excellent position to help tivozanib to reach its full commercial potential.  Building on its Global Category Leadership in uro-oncology, Astellas already offers Eligard for the treatment of prostate cancer in Europe and is jointly developing MDV3100 for advanced prostate cancer with Medivation. With its late development focusing on renal cancer, tivozanib will make an excellent addition to this pipeline.

Under the deal, subject to regulatory approval, Astellas will lead commercialisation of tivozanib in the European Union ("EU") and AVEO will lead commercialisation in North America. The companies will share equally all European and North American commercialisation and development costs and profits. Additionally, Astellas will benefit from the opportunity to develop and commercialise tivozanib outside of North America, EU and Asia through a sales-based royalties agreement. 

"As you can imagine, we are delighted and honoured to receive this prestigious Scrip Award, which recognises that Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. pursues innovative deals with a clear vision as we grow and evolve as a company with a focus in areas of high unmet medical need including oncology," explained Ken Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, APEL.

He continued, "This has been a truly remarkable year for APEL. Our  decision to move into the field of oncology and to enter into this licence agreement were both driven by a firm commitment to leveraging our strengths to address unmet medical needs in order to provide a brighter future for patients. By enabling the development of a much-needed new option for the treatment of a variety of solid tumour types, Astellas' partnership with AVEO firmly reflects this commitment and enhances the abilities of both companies to benefit patients whilst meeting our strategic vision".


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 R&D and marketing capabilities and continuing to grow in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. is responsible for 21 affiliate offices located across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs approximately 4,200 staff across these regions.  For more information about Astellas Pharma Europe, please visit

SOURCE Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.