Astellas Pharma US pilots pharma efforts that are outta this world. The company conducts research, development, and marketing efforts focused on therapeutic areas including cardiology, dermatology, immunology, infectious disease, neurology, oncology, urology, and metabolism. The company's primary products include transplant rejection therapy Prograf, overactive bladder treatment Vesicare, and vascular dilator Adenoscan, as well as antifungals Mycamine and AmBisome and enlarged prostate treatment Flomax. Astellas Pharma US, which is a subsidiary of Japan-based pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma, uses a direct sales force to market its products to consumers and health professionals in the US market.
In 2012 the Astellas Pharma US division moved into a new headquarters building in Northbrook, Illinois, where administrative, sales, marketing, research, and manufacturing activities take place; the division was previously headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. In addition, Astellas Pharma US has facilities in Norman, Oklahoma (manufacturing); Skokie, Illinois (laboratory research); and Farmingdale, New York (OSI Pharmaceuticals, cancer research).
The company's Agensys subsidiary, which develops cancer treatments, broke ground on a new research facility in Santa Monica, California in 2011. Astellas Pharma US also added a facility in Redwood City, California, through the 2011 acquisition of full control of its Perseid Therapeutics venture. At the end of 2012 Astellas Pharma shut down its Durham, North Carolina, location (Urogenix, urology research), transferring the research activities to another R&D center in Japan.
The Americas segment of the global Astellas organization (primarily consisting of US operations) accounts for about 20% of revenues. Revenues in 2012 for the segment were about $2.2 billion (out of Astellas' total global earnings of some $11.8 billion), a 7% increase over 2011 results (prior to conversion to Japanese currency) attributed to strong sales of Vesicare, Lexiscan, Mycamine, and Tarceva. Revenues from sales of Prograf declined more than 20%, however, due to generic competition.
As top-selling products such as Prograf lose patent protection and began facing competition from generic drugmakers, Astellas Pharma US focuses on sales of newer products that it hope will take over the top revenue-earning spots. The company also works to add new commercial products through internal research and development efforts. Products under development include treatments for atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeats) and pneumonia.
Astellas Pharma US gains additional products through acquisitions and by forming development and licensing partnerships with other drugmakers. For instance, the company is developing a prostate cancer drug with Medivation, and its Agensys subsidiary is working with Seattle Genetics on other cancer treatments. The company also markets infectious disease treatment AmBisome in the US market through a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company expanded its oncology operations through the acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals for some $4 billion in 2010. OSI markets cancer therapy Tarceva and has R&D programs for oncology and metabolic applications. The purchase was completed after a first hostile takeover bid (worth about $3.5 billion) was rejected by OSI's board; Astellas eventually raised its offer to a more palatable level and the board agreed to the acquisition.
In May 2011 the company bought out former partner Maxygen's interest in their Perseid Therapeutics venture for some $76 million, giving Astellas full control of a line of rheumatoid arthritis and transplant rejection candidates.