Astellas Pharma (TSE:4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”), a global pharmaceutical company committed to turning innovative science into value for patients, has announced today the official inauguration of its newly established Scientific and Technical Office in Riyadh.
The office opening is part of the Astellas’ long-term commitment to the Kingdom and stems from the company’s strong belief in leveraging technology to better serve local patients and communities; and support the local healthcare infrastructure with innovative medicines and treatments.
Leon Moore, President of International Markets Commercial, Astellas said: “We’re excited and privileged to be given this opportunity to deepen our roots in the Saudi community. Our Scientific and Technical Office in Riyadh is a natural extension of the work we are already doing globally and aligned with the Saudi government’s efforts to provide world-class and comprehensive healthcare to patients. We foresee many opportunities to work with local authorities and healthcare providers, leveraging our assets and expertise, to bring innovative medicines and treatments to Saudi patients”
His Excellency Iwai Fumio, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “I welcome the inauguration of Astellas’s Scientific and Technical Regional office in Riyadh today and it comes at an opportune time to leverage the on-going strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and Japan and in support of Vision 2030. I believe the Astellas presence in Saudi Arabia will not only elevate the quality of healthcare but also go towards realizing the health and talent empowerment in this country. I hope the success of the Astellas office will motivate more Japanese companies to extend their business footprint in Saudi Arabia.”
The Astellas Scientific and Technical Office will facilitate closer partnerships with key stakeholders, industry partners, healthcare providers and local authorities.
Key priority market and accelerating launches. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a priority market for Astellas. To better serve patients, future product introductions and new indications for medications will be prioritised for launch in the Kingdom. This includes selected oncology medications targeting disease areas such as Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Urothelial Cancer and Gastric Cancer, a medicine to treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease as well as new technologies in regenerative medicine and gene therapy, which will be prioritised to ensure innovative, life-saving treatments reach more patients in need. The Scientific and Technical Office will facilitate the close partnership with local authorities to accelerate the availability of these innovative medicines.
Technology and knowledge transfer. Astellas will continue investing in technology and local knowledge transfer. This builds on the company’s existing partnerships, such as the manufacturing joint venture with SAJA as well as a partnership with Salehiya, TAMER and Al-Jazeera that has enabled much needed Astellas products including oncology, haematology, immunology & transplant medicines to reach patients in need. The office will also support Astellas’ scientific and technical activities with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Investment in hiring locals. Through the office, Astellas will create new job opportunities for Saudi nationals and enable the local communities with new skills. For a start, Saudi nationals make up more than 60 percent of the local Astellas workforce.
Increasing local partnering opportunities. Astellas also plans to scale up local investment through education and training in partnership with key stakeholders, industry partners and healthcare providers, covering a range of topics, from disease awareness to education on our medicines. This is in support of the Saudi government’s health and wellness initiatives such as the ‘Health Sector Transformation Programme’ and the ‘Preventative Care Initiative’ which aims to restructure the healthcare sector in the Kingdom to be a comprehensive, effective and integrated health system.
On the timing of the inauguration of the Riyadh office, Mr Moore added, “We’re pleased to be a part of the Vision 2030 journey in building a vibrant biopharmaceutical ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, especially at a time when the pandemic has underscored the importance of timely accessibility to medicines and treatments. I am excited by the opportunities to collaborate with local authorities as well as domestic and international pharmaceutical players and harness our collective synergies for the people of Saudi Arabia.”