Company of the Month January | Astellas Pharma

In December 2012, Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas moved to the first sustainable combined office-laboratory complex in the Netherlands. The complex, situated at the Leiden Bio Science Park, is their new European commercial and research & development centre in the Netherlands. It will house all the company’s Leiderdorp branches, which were spread across four buildings.

Why investing in the Netherlands?
Dick Kooijman, General Manager, Astellas Pharma B.V., “Astellas has a long heritage with the Netherlands. Our new office and laboratory will mean that we can continue our commitment to developing pharmaceutical products that really contribute to people’s lives.”

“The Netherlands has a favourable investment climate, and government bodies such as the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and the Westholland Foreign Investment Agency (WFIA)  made a constructive contribution, expanding the scope for further development. Leiden Bio Science Park is a really attractive location for us, especially as so many other players in our industry are there too and it can be reached by public transport very easily”, said Barbara van Slooten, Astellas’ Manager Communications.

Leiden Bio Science Park
Astellas announced its move to the Leiden Bio Science Park in May 2010 and cited such reasons for this site as its attractive location and accessibility. Another advantage was the proximity of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), relevant courses offered by Leiden University, and laboratory courses provided at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden. The Leiden Bio Science Park has the largest cluster of bioscience companies and institutions in the Netherlands and ranks among the top five most successful science parks in Europe.

History of Astellas in the Netherlands
Yamanouchi started its European footprint in the Netherlands in 1991 when it acquired the pharmaceutical division of Royal Gist Brocades. In 2005, Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals merged with Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals to become Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas now employs around 1000 people, 700 of them in Leiden and 300 at the production site in Meppel.

Deshima Award
In 2011, Astellas was awarded the Deshima Award in the ‘well-established’ company category, recognising the important contribution Astellas has made to the Netherlands over the years as successful Japanese investor. The Deshima award was introduced in 2007 by the NFIA and Dutch-Japanese Trade Federation (Dujat) and is awarded every two years.

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