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Astellas Partners with MBC BioLabs to Help Pioneering Biotech Start-ups Accelerate Early Drug Discovery and Research Efforts
Supporting pre-clinical scientific research: "Golden Ticket" sponsorship provides access to life-science incubator and in-house Astellas expertise for scientific entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Venture Management, LLC (President: Shunichiro Matsumoto, Ph.D., MBA, "AVM"), a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., "Astellas"), and Mission Bay Capital BioLabs ("MBC BioLabs"), a life-science incubator, today announced their collaboration on the "Golden Ticket Competition". A Golden Ticket offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one-year usage of MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art lab facility and access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders.

(PRNewsfoto/Astellas Pharma Inc.)

Astellas' sponsorship of the Golden Ticket Competition follows AVM becoming a limited Partner of the venture capital firm Mission Bay Capital in May 2019 and obtaining Gold Sponsorship of MBC BioLabs. With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are proud to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms.

"At Astellas, we recognize the critical importance of external innovation in helping us achieve our Strategic Goal of 'Evolving How We Create Value with the Focus Area Approach' to deliver our Strategic Plan 2018 and realize our VISION of turning innovative science into value for patients," said Matsumoto. "By combining Astellas' R&D capabilities and expertise with MBC BioLabs' flagship incubator and established network in the San Francisco Bay area, we can maximize the potential to transform exciting ideas into real businesses that could bring VALUE and hope to patients worldwide."

"We are extremely pleased to be working with Astellas to foster life-science innovation," said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. "Our labs are a wonderful platform to explore and engage with whitespace opportunities and then drive the best ideas to commercialization. We are excited that Astellas has chosen our Golden Ticket program to amplify their external innovation initiatives."

About the Golden Ticket Competition
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 particular our R&D Focus Areas 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 MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art laboratory and access to Astellas' R&D scientists and business leaders. The competition is open from Wednesday September 11 to Friday October 11, 2019. Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science or biotech start-ups should submit their non-confidential company presentation 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 MBC BioLabs, and are not subject to any objection or appeal. For further information, please go to:   

About AVM
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., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information, please visit our website at:

About MBC BioLabs
MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, we allow companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. We now have two sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and a new campus in San Carlos. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one, not year one. We have partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission Bay Capital. These partnerships provide our entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Our labs have truly enabled awesome: since our opening in 2013 we have helped launch more than 135 companies, and these companies have gone on to raise over $3.5 billion!

For further information about MBC BioLabs and the "Golden Ticket Competition" please go to: 

SOURCE Astellas

For further information: Media Contact: Stefanie Prodouz, Medical & Development Communications, Astellas, TEL: +1 312-772-0050, EMAIL:; Media Contacts: Flavia Nachbar, Public & Alliance Relations Manager, MBC BioLabs, TEL: +1 415-347-8287, EMAIL:; Linda Eng, Director of Operations, MBC BioLabs, TEL: +1 415-347-8287, EMAIL:
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