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Astellas expands Top Management, names Percival Barretto-Ko as Chief Business Officer; Yoshitsugu Shitaka as Chief Scientific Officer
Oncology head Mark Reisenauer named Astellas US President; Masahide Goto named President at Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine

NORTHBROOK, Ill. and BOSTON, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas announced the expansion of its Top Management to include two new positions today, both of which will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Kenji Yasukawa and serve as part of Astellas' global executive committee:

  • Astellas US President Percival Barretto-Ko was promoted to Chief Business Officer, focused on leading the company's new corporate strategic plan and enhancing Astellas' external and internal innovation.
  • Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine President Yoshitsugu Shitaka was promoted to Chief Scientific Officer, with responsibility for operations and the expansion of Astellas' drug discovery research program platforms. He will also serve as Astellas' President of its Drug Discovery Research (DDR) organization.

In Barretto-Ko's new role, he will oversee Business Development, Advanced Informatics & Analytics, Intellectual Property: Innovation and New Technologies, Patient Centricity, Information Systems, iota Biosciences, Rx+ Business Accelerator, and a newly established Transformation Office, that will drive the execution of Astellas' new Corporate Strategic Plan. Barretto-Ko has been President of Astellas US since 2018. During his tenure, the US organization achieved record-breaking performance for three consecutive years with double-digit annual growth. He originally joined Astellas in 2005 in its EMEA headquarters and has held multiple leadership roles in strategy, commercial, business development, government affairs, and international markets.

"I am honored to lead the execution of Astellas' strategy during these exciting times in the growth of the organization," said Barretto-Ko. "As we embark upon a new Corporate Strategic Plan, it is my goal to continue and further implement Astellas' corporate vision of turning innovative science into value for patients."

In Shitaka's new role, he will oversee all internal and external collaborations involving company functions essential to creating innovative medicines to advance Astellas' Focus Area approach. As the president of DDR, he will also be responsible for the expansion of the various drug discovery research program platforms at Astellas laboratories around the world. Shitaka joined Astellas as a pharmacology researcher in 1996 and has since served as Executive Director, Frontier Disease Research Unit, Research Portfolio & Science, and as Executive Director, New Product Science Strategy, Product & Portfolio Strategy. Since 2016, he has been contributing to the progress of the cell therapy business as President of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM).

"Astellas was built on providing value and innovation for patients, and I believe the groundbreaking research we are doing into our Primary Focus Areas across the globe is among the most forward-looking in our entire industry," said Shitaka. "I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to lead and expand our research and innovation activities to continue to address significant unmet needs for patients."

New Leadership Named for US Business and Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM)

Mark Reisenauer will succeed Barretto-Ko as President, US. Reisenauer was previously Senior Vice President, Oncology business unit. In his new role, Reisenauer will be responsible for the operations for Astellas Pharma across the US and report to Chief Commercial Officer Yukio Matsui.

Since joining Astellas in 2011 as Vice President of Oncology Sales and Marketing, Reisenauer's leadership has yielded the fastest-growing franchise in Astellas' US portfolio. During his tenure, Astellas' oncology sales grew from less than 10 percent of sales to approximately 50 percent of US sales, and ultimately led to EvaluatePharma citing Astellas as an oncology company to watch – anticipating being in the top 10 of all oncology companies by 2024. Prior to joining Astellas, Reisenauer held various leadership positions at AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pharmacia, Abbott and Micromet.

As a part of these transitions within Astellas US, Senior Vice President of US Medical Specialties Steve Sabus was appointed as Senior Vice President of the Oncology business; Senior Vice President of Health Systems Shontelle Dodson was appointed as Senior Vice President of the Medical Specialties business unit.

Masahide [Hide] Goto will succeed Shitaka as President, Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AIRM). Headquartered in Westborough, Mass., AIRM is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas and serves as the Company's global hub for regenerative medicine and cell therapy research and manufacturing in ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas that have few or no available treatment options. Goto will report to Shitaka in this new role.

Dr. Goto joined Astellas as a researcher in molecular medicine in 1997 and previously served mainly as Senior Director, Biologics, Modality Research Laboratory; as Executive Director, Candidate Discovery Research Unit 3, Candidate Discovery Science Laboratory; and as Executive Director, Eye & Ear Virtual Venture Unit.

About Astellas
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at or LinkedIn at  

SOURCE Astellas

For further information: Jennifer Saputo,
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