Astellas Partners with LabCentral to Help Emerging Biotechs Accelerate Preclinical Scientific Research


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Venture Management LLC (President: Kazunori Maruyama, Ph.D., "AVM"), a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc., and LabCentral, a launchpad for early-stage life-sciences startups, today announced their collaboration on the "Golden Ticket Competition." A Golden Ticket offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one-year usage of LabCentral's state-of-the-art lab facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders.

Astellas' sponsorship of the Golden Ticket Competition follows AVM obtaining Gold Sponsorship of LabCentral in October of 2019. With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and LabCentral are proud to support scientists and early stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms.

"We recognize the critical importance that external innovation serves in helping us achieve our VISION of turning innovative science into VALUE for patients," said Maruyama, President, AVM. "By combining Astellas' R&D capabilities and expertise with LabCentral's launchpad and its established network in the Boston area, we can partner with emerging biotechnology companies to transform their ideas into reality, bringing hope to patients worldwide."

"We are extremely pleased to be working with Astellas to foster life-science innovation in the Boston area," said Johannes Fruehauf, LabCentral Co-founder and President. "Our labs offer a fertile environment in which biotechnology visionaries can thrive by providing them with the space and resources they need to test out, challenge, and nurture early ideas. We are excited that Astellas has chosen our Golden Ticket program to supplement their external innovation initiatives."

About the Golden Ticket Competition at LabCentral
Astellas is offering up to two Golden Tickets for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas' interest in all areas of innovation and in particularly fit with the Astellas Focus Area Approach and pipeline, including oncology, immunology/allergy, neuromuscular disorders, sensory disorders and neuroscience. 

Companies awarded an Astellas Golden Ticket will gain one year's priority admission or renewal to LabCentral's state-of-the-art laboratory and access to Astellas' R&D scientists and business leaders. The competition is open from Thursday July 23, 2020 to Friday August 21, 2020. Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science or biotech start-ups should submit their non-confidential pitch deck and one-page executive summary to to be considered. The decision to award any Golden Ticket, and the assessments underlying such decision, are solely within the judgment of Astellas and LabCentral, and are not subject to any objection or appeal. Please access here for further information.

About Astellas Venture Management LLC
AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 20 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research.

About Astellas
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at

About LabCentral
A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral was founded in 2013 as a launchpad for high-potential life sciences and biotech start-ups. Operating a total of 100,000 square-feet in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., LabCentral offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for as many as 70 start-ups comprising approximately 500 scientists and entrepreneurs. More information is available at and @labcentral.

Cautionary Notes
In this press release, statements made with respect to current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Astellas. These statements are based on management's current assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in general economic conditions and in laws and regulations, relating to pharmaceutical markets, (ii) currency exchange rate fluctuations, (iii) delays in new product launches, (iv) the inability of Astellas to market existing and new products effectively, (v) the inability of Astellas to continue to effectively research and develop products accepted by customers in highly competitive markets, and (vi) infringements of Astellas' intellectual property rights by third parties.

Information about pharmaceutical products (including products currently in development) which is included in this press release is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.



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SOURCE Astellas Pharma Inc.


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