Astellas Pharma US, Inc. today announced the appointment of Sef Kurstjens, M.D., Ph.D. as the head of Research and Development activities in the U.S. As Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Dr. Kurstjens will be responsible for the clinical studies and administration, biopharmaceutical sciences, medical affairs, pharmacovigilance and research data operations departments at Astellas Pharma US, Inc. In this capacity, he will oversee the development of products in Astellas' five areas of focus: immunology, urology, infectious disease, cardiology and dermatology.
"Dr. Kurstjens' extensive background in all aspects of clinical development for both in-license and pipeline products makes him a natural fit for our organization and an excellent addition to our management team," stated Makoto Nishimura, Ph.D., President and CEO, Astellas Pharma US, Inc. "As a research-driven company, we are confident that Dr. Kurstjens will successfully lead Astellas in achieving our development goals."
A native of South Africa, Dr. Kurstjens received his advanced degrees in medicine and experimental physiology from University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg before practicing pediatrics in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. He entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1991 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in Pfizer Global Research and Development in both Europe and the US before joining Astellas.
Astellas Pharma US, Inc., a US subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc., is a research-based pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Established on April 1, 2005, the company was formed through a merger that combined the outstanding research, development and marketing capabilities of Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Astellas ranks among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and will continue to grow as a competitive company in the world pharmaceutical market. For more information on Astellas Pharma US, Inc., go to http://www.astellas.com/us .