- Drugmaker Astellas Pharma plans to invest ¥29 billion, or about $257 million, in constructing new R&D and manufacturing facilities across three sites in its home country of Japan and in Massachusetts.
- Astellas' build-out is a push to expand the company's capabilities in cell and gene therapy, as well as in regenerative medicine and biologics.
- In Japan, Astellas will build two centers, one in Toyama and the other in Tsukuba, that both are scheduled to complete in 2019. In the U.S., the drugmaker will relocate its Institute for Regenerative Medicine, with a completion date set for January 2020.
Known best in the U.S. as the developer of Xtandi (enzalutamide), Astellas is making it clear that it has broader aims.
One of the new facilities under construction, located in Tsukuba, will manufacture clinical trial materials for Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies of cell and gene therapies in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. While only 1,800 square meters in size, the facility will cost Astellas about $44 million.
In Toyama, Japan, Astellas will spend nearly $90 million to build a 8,000-square-meter facility to produce antibodies for both clinical and commercial uses. The site could also play a role in cell therapy manufacture, Astellas said.
By footprint, the largest construction will take place in the U.S., where Astellas is relocating its Institute for Regenerative Medicine to a new location measuring 24,000 square meters.
Shifting sites is aimed at accelerating R&D in regenerative medicine and cell therapy, and better supply clinical trial materials. The cost of the move and upgrades, which should complete in January 2020, will total about $124 million.