R&D budget: $1.63B (€1.19B)
Change over 08: +18.3 percent
Income spent on R&D: 16.5%
Like other Japanese pharma companies, Astellas has been an aggressive buyer as it sought to break out of a moribund home market and spread its wings around the world. In Astellas's case, the expansion drive led it to OSI Pharmaceuticals in New York, which it acquired this year for $4 billion in a hostile takeover.
To help cover the premium, Astellas wasted little time in the follow-up cost-cutting drive, pinpointing facilities in Ardsley and Melville, NY, that it could live without. Like many pharma companies, Astellas has had the cash to pursue new deals. And like many, it's focused on the potential for experimental cancer drugs. A year ago Astellas agreed to a rich, $390 million deal it struck with Ambit for the biotech's lead cancer drug for acute myeloid leukemia.
But Astellas's deal-making crew hasn't always been successful. In 2009 Astellas made a bid to acquire CV Therapeutics, but its $1 billion effort to nab the cardiovascular drug developer only drove the company into the hands of Gilead, which bought it out for $1.4 billion.