Astellas Pharma Inc. is a Japanese pharmaceutical company, formed on 1 April 2005 from the merger of Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd..Astellas is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu.HistoryEarly foundationsFujisawa Shoten was started in 1894 by Tomokichi Fujisawa in Osaka, and was renamed Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. in 1943. Yamanouchi Yakuhin Shokai was started in 1923 by Kenji Yamanouchi in Osaka. The company was renamed Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. in 1940 and moved to Tokyo in 1942. Both companies started their overseas expansion at about the same time, opening offices in Taiwan in 1962 and 1963, respectively, and in the United States and Europe from 1977 onwards.Recent times & mergersFujisawa acquired Lyphomed in 1990 and thereafter established its US R&D center in Deerfield, Illinois. Yamanouchi's R&D center in Leiderdorp was established with the acquisition of the pharmaceutical division of Royal Gist Brocades in 1991. Fujisawa and Yamanouchi combined in a "merger of equals," forming Astellas Pharma on 1 April 2005. At least some of its older products continue to be distributed under the original brand, ostensibly due to high brand-name recognition. Astellas had a collaboration agreement with CoMentis from 2008 to 2014 focused on development of beta-secretase inhibitor therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease.