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TOKYO (September 27, 2013) – Amgen Astellas BioPharma K.K. (Amgen Astellas BioPharma) today announced it will begin business operations on October 1, 2013, led by a team of pharmaceutical and biotechnology veterans. Effective October 1, General Manager and Representative Director Eiichi Takahashi will be joined by Deputy General Manager Kazuo Wanibuchi, Head of Research and Development Klaus Beck and Head of Marketing Yukiya Suzuki. The joint venture is staffed by seconded employees from Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 4503) (“Astellas”), transferred employees from Amgen Development K.K., a Japan based affiliate of Amgen Inc., (NASDAQ: AMGN) (“Amgen”) and newly hired employees.
“This venture is in every way about innovation and that is reflected in the selection of this highly experienced and visionary leadership team,” said Eiichi Takahashi, M.D., Ph.D. “We are committed to delivering important new medicines that will contribute to the lives of patients in Japan.”
Amgen Astellas BioPharma is the product of a unique alliance between Astellas, a leading Tokyo-based R&D-oriented global pharmaceutical company, and Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotechnology company. The company will co-develop and co-commercialize Amgen’s key, late-stage pipeline candidates with Astellas’ deep knowledge of Japanese patient and physician needs, commercial, development and regulatory experience and leading scientific expertise to serve patients in Japan.
“Over the coming weeks and months, we will all work together to build an organization that will ultimately be responsible for bringing breakthrough-science-based medicines that have the potential to enhance patients’ lives,” said Dr. Takahashi. “I believe the employees of this new venture will feel proud to be part of an enterprise that contributes exceptional value for patients in order to create a healthy society for Japan.”
1 Developed in collaboration with UCB
Eiichi Takahashi joined Amgen Development K.K. as General Manager in June 2013 and has been appointed General Manager and Representative Director of Amgen Astellas BioPharma. He took on this new role from Pfizer where he was Head, Medical Affairs, Asia/Pacific Region, Specialty Care Business Unit, Pfizer, Inc., and Corporate Officer, Pfizer Japan K.K. He joined Pfizer Japan K.K. in 2002, and worked as a product physician in the Medical Division, looking after Lipitor®. He served in a number of positions in the firm, including Team Leader of Lipitor in the Marketing Division, Head of Cardiovascular Group in the Marketing Division, Division Head and Vice President, Japan, and Corporate Officer, Japan of the Medical Division. He also worked as the General Manager of the Oncology Business Unit, reporting into the Asia/Pacific Regional President. At the same time in 2009, Dr. Takahashi became a board member of Pfizer Japan.
Dr. Takahashi has an M.D from the Keio University School of Medicine, a Ph.D. from the Keio University Graduate School of Medicine, and an EMBA from Aoyama Gakuin University’s Graduate School of International Management. He is a Fellow of the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine (FJSIM), and a Board Certified Member of The Japanese Circulation Society (Board of Cardiology).
Mr. Wanibuchi joins Amgen Astellas BioPharma, effective October 1, 2013 as Deputy General Manager. Prior to joining Amgen Astellas BioPharma, he served as General Manager of Astellas Pharma Inc.’s Kyoto regional branch. Mr. Wanibuchi served in numerous leadership positions at Astellas, including Associate General Manager, Kan-etsu regional branch, Senior Director of Planning & Administration, Chiba regional branch, and General Manager, Shikoku regional branch. In 1999, he joined Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. – one of the companies that merged to form Astellas in 2005 – where he led the Sales and Marketing Division. He graduated from Ryukoku University in Kyoto with a bachelors degree in economics.
Dr. Beck joins Amgen Astellas BioPharma, effective October 1, 2013 from Amgen Development K.K. where he held the role of Head of Research and Development. Prior to that role he worked at AstraZeneca K.K. from 2010 to August 2012 and at Amgen Development K.K. and Amgen K.K. from 2007 to 2010 - in both companies as Head of Research and Development. Dr. Beck’s earlier professional background includes leadership roles in the US and Europe in clinical development at Amgen and Merck & Co. and in basic discovery research at Amgen and Genentech covering the last 20 years.
Dr. Beck earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He then pursued further studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA, where he graduated with a Ph.D. in neurobiology.
Mr. Suzuki joins Amgen Astellas BioPharma, effective October 1, 2013 as Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Amgen Astellas BioPharma, he was Executive Director of Strategic Planning at Product Marketing for Astellas Pharma Inc.’s Sales & Marketing Division. He began his career at Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., (one of the precursor companies that merged to form Astellas in 2005) in 1988 and was in charge of sales and marketing. He has served in various positions at the company, including Executive Director of Urology at Product Marketing, Sales & Marketing Division. He graduated from Meiji Pharmaceutical University in Tokyo with a masters degree in pharmaceutical sciences, and from Nihon University with a masters degree in business administration.
Amgen Astellas BioPharma K.K. is a Japanese company that begins operations October 1, 2013 to provide breakthrough-science-based medicines to help address unmet medical needs of patients in Japan. The company is a joint venture between Amgen Inc., the world’s largest independent biotechnology company, and Astellas Pharma Inc., a leading Tokyo-based R&D-oriented global pharmaceutical company. The joint venture will become a wholly-owned Amgen affiliate as soon as 2020. Amgen Astellas BioPharma leverages the capabilities of both companies – Amgen’s science and pipeline candidates coupled with Astellas’ deep knowledge of Japanese patient and physician needs, long-term commercial and regulatory experience, and strong presence as a leading company in Japan – to contribute to the creation of a healthy society.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world's largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. Astellas has approximately 17,000 employees worldwide. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in urology, immunology (including transplantation) and infectious diseases, oncology, neuroscience and DM complications and kidney diseases. For more information on Astellas Pharma Inc., please visit the company website at www.astellas.com/en.
Amgen Astellas BioPharma K.K.