Astellas announced Tuesday a restructuring of its R&D operations including the closure of its OSI Pharmaceuticals and Perseid Therapeutics units in the US. The company, which said the move is designed to “further enhance the ability to generate innovative drugs,” also noted that activities at its Astellas Research Institute of America will be scaled back to focus on CNS therapies.
The drugmaker added that it will close its Kashima facility in Osaka, with some functions transferred to other sites, including the Tsukuba Research Center. Astellas indicated that it will record a charge of approximately 11 billion yen ($108 million) in fiscal 2013 related to the actions.
According to Newsday, the shuttering of the OSI Pharmaceuticals unit, which Astellas acquired for $4 billion in 2010, will lead to the loss of 115 jobs. The news source noted that the closure is part of a wider consolidation at the drugmaker, which is ending work at facilities in Silicon Valley and Chicago, cutting a total of 200 positions.
Astellas also said it will create a new unit in October, called Astellas Innovation Management, to more effectively screen and draw on outside opportunities provided by bio-venture companies and academic research. The drugmaker also indicated that it aims to improve the autonomy of its global research units and introduce multi-track development paths at an earlier stage of research, whilst exploring new therapeutic areas and technologies, including regenerative medicine and vaccines.
On Monday, Astellas forecast that net income in the current fiscal year is expected to climb 32.8 percent, with sales rising 16.3 percent, boosted by new products, including prostate cancer therapy Xtandi, and existing drugs such as Prograf and Vesicare.