We are Pioneer Group and Astellas Announce Future Innovator Prize to Help Emerging Biotechs Accelerate Early Drug Discovery and Research Efforts

TOKYO and NOTTINGHAM, UK |21 October 2021 - Astellas Venture Management LLC, a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc, and We are Pioneer Group (WAPG), the UK’s largest ecosystem provider for science and innovation businesses, today announce a new collaborative sponsorship and first of its kind initiative to support early stage science ventures. 
The “Future Innovator Prize” offers scientists and biotech start-ups one year of free accommodation at selected We are Pioneer Group locations and membership to the WAPG’s community of scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs; which is the largest in the UK. In addition, Future Innovator Prize winners will also receive unprecedented access to Astellas’ R&D capabilities, business leaders, mentors and global network of partner academic institutes and biotechnology companies.
The collaborative sponsorship between Astellas and WAPG is the first such offering in the UK, and a flagship initiative for the newly-founded WAPG following the acquisition of BioCity Group in April 2021.
“We are delighted to partner with Astellas to support promising early-stage science ventures,” said Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi, venture development manager at We are Pioneer Group. “The Future Innovator Prize creates a crucial link between innovation and industry that will enable the translation of research, into meaningful value for patients.”
 “The UK market is extremely important to our continued expansion outside the US in our mission to become the Partner of Choice in the biopharmaceutical space by identifying emerging companies that can help us achieve and realize our VISION of turning innovative science into VALUE for patients,” said Maruyama, President, AVM. “With nine locations across the UK, we believe We are Pioneer Group are singularly positioned to allow start-ups to transform exciting ideas into real businesses that could benefit from our expertise in R&D.”
 “With Astellas, we share the vision of supporting early-stage ventures and have witnessed the impact of a similar sponsorship with LabCentral in Boston,” agreed Ajetunmobi. “With the Future Innovator Prize, we believe we can create significant acceleration and growth opportunities for pioneering biotechs and unlock the current nascent potential of the UK science industry, enabling it to compete on a global level.”  
Astellas and WAPG today issue an open call for the Future Innovator Prize. Applications are welcome from entrepreneurial scientists, life science and biotechnology start-ups that are developing pioneering scientific and technology platform that would be a game-changing approach in Astellas’ interest areas including Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria Biology, Genetic Regulation, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy, and other areas.

For more information and to apply for the Future Innovator Prize, visit www.astellasfutureinnovator.com

Media Contact Information: 

Astellas Pharma Inc.
Media Contact 
Jarrod Aldom 
Corporate Communications
TEL: +1 201-705-0254
EMAIL: jarrod.aldom@astellas.com
We are Pioneer Group
Press Contact 
Elizabeth Hasling
TEL: 07921 587 939
EMAIL: e.hasling@wearepioneergroup.com