Astellas reorganizes R&D ops

Astellas Pharma said today that it's reorganizing its drug discovery research functions on October 1, 2009. The Japan-based pharma company will focus its resources on two areas. First, the company's Image Analysis Research Unit will be separated from the Applied Pharmacology Research to form the Bioimaging Research Labs. This, Astellas claims, will help the company more efficiently carry out R&D projects. "Through alliances and collaborative research programs with academia and other parties, the Bioimaging Research Labs will promote the efficacy study, the synthesis of labeled compounds for new drug candidates, the development of automated apparatus for rapid synthesis of PET tracers, disease model animals and the support of clinical studies using bioimaging technologies," the company said in its statement.

Additionally, the company is reworking the fermentation research functions of Tsukuba Research. Astellas wants to focus its drug discovery research away from technology-based drug discovery approaches such as synthetic low molecules, natural products and antibody pharmaceuticals to more multiple approaches that organically combine all of these technologies.

- here's Astellas' release