Astellas Fellowship Program

Partnership Objective

Develop and promote high quality training in clinical R&D in disease endemic countries.

Botswanan research medical officer, Dr. Tafireyi Marukutira, was the Astellas fellow between April 2011 and March 2012. Botswanan research medical officer, Dr. Tafireyi Marukutira, was the Astellas fellow between April 2011 and March 2012. Copyright Astellas

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

For the year 2011/2012 and 2013/2014, Astellas has invited two fellows for training on clinical R&D as part of the WHO/TDR’s Career Development Fellowship (CDF).

Astellas created curricula which enable the fellows to learn all phases of a compound’s clinical development which include good clinical practice, development strategy and project management, clinical research design, writing clinical study reports and manuscripts, evaluating and reporting safety data and the planning for operational aspects for proper oversight and conducting clinical trials.

The project allows fellows to learn how to work with the regulatory agencies in both the US (FDA) and EU (EMA). In addition, the project teams with which these fellows are assigned provide them the opportunity to work with global teams and develop a better understanding of how to achieve conflict resolution, timeline management, prioritization of activities and develop presentations to executive management to achieve support for plans. The skills they acquired through these curricula will have a meaningful impact on their home institutions.   

Lessons learned

Astellas found this program very useful in serving as an opportunity to learn about clinical research in other parts of the world, provind the opportunity for team members to improve communication and time management skills and bringing development and medical affairs in the shared objective of global development.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

A Botswanan research medical officer, Dr. Tafireyi Marukutira, was the Astellas fellow between April 2011 and March 2012. Dr Marukutira focused primarily on working with the micafungin pediatric and the isavuconazole teams, both in late stage development (Phase 3/3b). Therefore, he was able to consider related and/or multi-factorial health problems for HIV patients and the impact clinical research has on diseases of endemic countries in the pediatric patients. He has now established a partnership with the CDC in carrying on key clinical research.

Astellas is currently hosting a fellow from Ethiopia though July 2014.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Astellas

Partner(s) Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO)

Type of Partner(s) IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health, Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) Children's Health, HIV/AIDS, Malaria

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training, Research & Development - Pediatric R&D

Targeted Population(s) Health professionals

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 2

Country(ies) Botswana, Ethiopia

Research Country(ies) United States of America

Start Date 2011

More information Astellas Access to Health

Completed date 2014

« Returning to my institution in Botswana I am in a central position to foster drug development in the pediatric population. »

Dr. Tafireyi Marukutira, 2011-2012 Fellow