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Astellas Pharma EMEA, the regional headquarters of Astellas Pharma Inc. for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has appointed Simon Dew to the position of chief strategy officer from his previous role as vice president, business and commercial development. Simon succeeds Naoki Okamura, who after over 2 years in the post has moved to the company's global headquarters in Tokyo as corporate vice president, licensing & alliances. Simon's senior team will be joined by Jun Kono, who has been appointed vice president, corporate strategy and communications.
Astellas is the second largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and among the top 20 globally. It is growing strongly in the EMEA region, with an 8.1% rise in sales to €1967 million in FY2013. The company's rigorous prioritisation of R&D to produce innovative medicines that provide new standards of care for patients and their doctors, has seen a range of therapies recently launched in the region, including new classes of treatment for advanced prostate cancer, overactive bladder and the hospital-acquired infection, Clostridium difficile.
Ken Jones, president and CEO Astellas Pharma EMEA, commented: “These are important appointments to our strong senior leadership team as we review our strategic direction to support the company's continued success. Simon has made a significant contribution to Astellas since joining 8 years ago — helping ensure the company is on track to reach goals set in our business blueprint, VISION 2015, in terms of our therapeutic focus, pipeline and sales. He has supported the region's excellent financial performance, which has seen three consecutive years of growth despite a challenging industry environment and continued austerity. Jun brings a wealth of experience in corporate strategy and planning, and we are delighted that he is returning to the EMEA from our head office in Japan.”
As chief strategy officer, Simon will play a major role in the EMEA region by helping steer Astellas as it continues to evolve its portfolio of therapies in priority disease areas. In particular, Astellas aims to further enhance its leadership in urology and transplantation, whilst developing a new cancer drugs portfolio to meet the company’s objective of achieving global category leadership in oncology. Nearly a fifth of global sales are invested in R&D in a multitrack approach that combines in-house drug discovery, in-licensing and collaborations with a wide range of research organisations.
In his new role Simon will oversee business development, alliance management, commercial development, and corporate strategy and communications, leading a team of around 18 specialists across these functions. With 25 years in the industry and a wealth of experience in commercial development strategies and managing alliances/acquisitions, Simon's expertise will help Astellas maintain the innovative and productive pipeline.
Jun takes on leadership of Astellas Pharma EMEA's corporate strategy and communications, and will be responsible for guiding the strategic direction of the company’s mid-term plan, product portfolio and commercial operations. He will also lead development of Astellas' growing profile in the EMEA region, building the company's corporate brand through communications targeting a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. In addition, Jun will be responsible for planning and directing Astellas Pharma EMEA's programme of corporate social responsibility initiatives.