Prioritizing Women’s Health - Axios Smart Brevity Studio Video Discussion featuring Astellas’ Shontelle Dodson and Marci English

Astellas Executive Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs Shontelle Dodson and Vice President, Head of Biopharma Development Marci English were recently featured in an Axios Smart Brevity Studio video where they shed light on our ongoing work to raise awareness of women's unique health needs and our research efforts to treat them. The video is part of a PhRMA-sponsored series highlighting the importance of biopharmaceutical science to developing therapies for serious and challenging-to-treat conditions.

Dodson and English shared their experience focused on women’s health issues and discussed how Astellas is working to help women suffering from vasomotor symptoms – or VMS – otherwise known as hot flashes/flushes and night sweats due to menopause. Up to 80% of women in the U.S. experience VMS during the menopausal transition[1], and some women may experience symptoms for 10 or more years.[2]

“There’s a real underappreciation for the impact that menopause has on women’s lives,” Dodson explained. “We anticipate our research will help to lay the groundwork for future treatments, expanding care options and our scientific capabilities for years to come.”

“There’s a stigma around talking about menopause, much like the stigmas that are around other aspects of women’s health. As we start normalizing that… the hope is that it will perpetuate and start discussions at the societal level,” said English. “I really do feel hopeful that in the coming years we’ll see an even greater increase in recognition that there are unmet needs in the areas of women’s health, and we’ll see biopharma focus on them. Anything we can do to improve the health of women matters—to them, their families, and to society.”  

Watch the full discussion and learn more here.


1 Thurston RC. Vasomotor symptoms. In: Crandall CJ, Bachman GA, Faubion SS, et al., eds. Menopause Practice: A Clinician’s Guide. 6th ed. Pepper Pike, OH: The North American Menopause Society, 2019:43-55
2 Avis NE, Crawford SL, Greendale G, et al. Duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms over the menopause transition. JAMA Intern Med 2015;175(4):531-9.

Stay Connected

Get only the email alerts you want.


Media Contacts


For media inquiries and reporter requests, please click here to fill out a request form.

Our communications team will respond to verified media requests within 24-48 hours as appropriate.

If you are not a reporter and need assistance, please visit our contact us page that includes information for patients, healthcare providers and researchers.


Download Fact Sheet
Explore U.S. Products