Contributing to Society
Astellas is working to address social issues which affect people throughout the world, from improving access to health to fostering scientific advances and providing support to local communities. Here’s a flavour of some of our recent activities.
Action on Fistula
Astellas Pharma EMEA backs Action on Fistula, a groundbreaking, three-year initiative that aims to transform the lives of women in Kenya living with obstetric fistula – a stigmatising condition caused by prolonged obstructive labour when emergency care is unavailable. Led by the charity, Fistula Foundation, and supported by a €1.5 million donation from Astellas, the programme is making great progress. By April 2016, more than 1,200 women had been successfully treated with life-changing reconstructive surgery. A fistula treatment network comprising seven hospitals has been established and the number of fistula surgeons in the country has been increased. A major outreach programme with community workers is also underway to identify patients and encourage them to access available treatment.
Combatting Tropical Diseases
Collaborative research to discover anti-protozoan parasite drugs
In April 2016, Astellas signed a new collaborative research agreement with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to discover anti-protozoan parasite drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease ‒ a neglected tropical illness for which a new treatment is urgently needed.
Collaborative research on a rice-based oral vaccine
In June 2016, Astellas signed a new collaborative development agreement with the Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, on a rice-based oral vaccine against diarrheal diseases caused by cholera and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. In developing countries these pathogens are a major cause of death among infants and young children.
Development of pediatric formulation for schistosomiasis
Having set up a consortium with other pharmaceutical companies, research institutions and international non-profit organisations, Astellas is developing a pediatric formulation of praziquantel, the ‘gold standard’ treatment for schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in developing regions, particularly Africa and South America.
CHANGING TOMORROW™ Day
CHANGING TOMORROW Day is an annual initiative in which, for at least one day a year, employees work with charities supporting children and vulnerable people in their local communities to help overcome barriers to education, play and healthy lifestyles.
In fiscal year (FY) 2015, more than 7,400 employees participated globally, with countries in the EMEA region donating 3,812 volunteering hours to support community causes in 33 locations.