Astellas establishes open innovation hub for tumour microenvironment research

Betsy Goodfellow | June 29, 2023 | News story | Research and Development Astellas Pharma, Mitsui Fudosan, Oncology, open innovation hub, tumour microenvironment 

Astellas Pharma and Mitsui Fudosan have announced that Astellas plans to establish a tumour microenvironment (TME) open innovation hub, intended to open in October 2023. The hub will be based at MITSUI LINK-Lab KASHIWA-NO-HA 1, in Kashiwa City, Japan, and operated by Mitsui Fudosan.

The hub, TME iLab, will function as an open innovation hub for research into TME, with the two companies planning to collaborate in order to maximise the benefits of the Kashiwa-no-ha area, which is located close to various leading Japanese medical facilities, such as the National Cancer Center Japan. The companies aim to gain new insights about the TME while producing new innovations based on their research.

Yoshitsugu Shitaka, PhD, chief scientific officer at Astellas, commented:  “We are pleased to reach an agreement with Mitsui Fudosan. In our new hub of open innovation, we are seeking a wide range of partners with innovative expertise and technologies in tumour microenvironment research. By combining Astellas’ capabilities in drug discovery with the knowledge of partners, including academia and venture companies, we expect to accelerate anticancer drug research and create innovative drugs. Through these activities, we will also contribute to further growth of the ecosystem in Kashiwa-no-ha smart city.”

Kazunori Yamashita, executive managing officer and general manager at Mitsui Fudosan, added: “We sincerely welcome Astellas to establish a hub in Kashiwa-no-ha. In the Kashiwa-no-ha area, a smart city is being built through public-private-academic collaboration, and in the life science area, an ecosystem that generates innovation is being created through the formation of communities to support both cross-collaboration between academia and industry on medical and healthcare-related initiatives and the social implementation of research and development seeds. In the life science area as well, the creation of an ecosystem that fosters innovation is progressing. We, too, will contribute to the development of TME iLab and industrial growth, including the creation of innovative drugs, by working to create a place for promoting innovation and building a community.”

Betsy Goodfellow

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