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.
Astellas Pharma US operates from a headquarters building in Northbrook, Illinois, having moved in 2012 from its former facilities in Deerfield, Illinois. The headquarters houses administrative, sales, marketing, research, and manufacturing activities.
Astellas Pharma US maintains additional 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, opened a new research facility in Santa Monica, California. Astellas Pharma US also added a facility in Redwood City, California, through the 2011 acquisition of full control of its Perseid Therapeutics venture. Astellas Pharma shuttered 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 25% of revenues. Revenues in 2014 for the segment were about $2.8 billion (out of Astellas' total global earnings of some $11 billion), a 28% decrease from 2013 results attributed to increased demand for XTANDI and Myrbetriq. Astellas also logged VESIcare and Lexiscan sales gains, as well as a boost in income from anticancer drug Tarceva. Revenues from the sale of Prograf declined, however, due to continued generic competition.
As top-selling products, such as Prograf, lose patent protection and began facing competition from generic drugmakers, Astellas Pharma US has turned its attention to sales of newer products that it hopes will take over the top revenue-earning spots. Indeed, in 2013 the company launched ASTAGRAF XL, a new formulation of immunosuppressant Prograf.
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. The company received approval in 2014 from the US Food and Drug Administration for the use of XTANDI (enzalutamide) capsules to treat patients with metastic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Astellas Pharma US picks up 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. Through a distribution agreement inked in 2013 with Tecnofarma International Ltd., Astellas Pharma US distributes enzalutamide (XTANDI in the US) in Latin America, excluding Brazil.
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 and the board agreed to the acquisition.
In 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.