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Leadership & Management

Astellas Australia appoints ex-Organon leader as new GM

Health Industry Hub | June 13, 2024 |

Leadership & Management: Astellas Australia has announced the appointment of Nirelle Tolstoshev as its new General Manager, effective July 1, 2024.

In her new role, Nirelle will be responsible for shaping and leading Astellas Australia’s growth strategy to deliver more value for patients. She will also join the Asia Pacific leadership team, reporting to Alp Atay, Head of Asia Pacific.

“We are thrilled Nirelle is joining us at Astellas. Australia is a priority market globally, and we are looking forward to Nirelle leading the business through its next phase of growth. In addition to her significant women’s health experience, we were also very impressed with Nirelle’s achievements in oncology, her well-established and respected people leadership skills, and her experience in advocating for policy outcomes in both oncology and women’s health,” he stated.

Nirelle brings expertise in women’s health to Astellas, having previously served as one of the founding members and Managing Director of Organon Pharma since 2021. She was instrumental in building an independent women’s health-focused company following its spin-off from Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).

“I am leaving one purpose-driven organisation to join another with a resolute focus on bringing innovative science to patients. This is a very exciting time to join Astellas and a wonderful new challenge,” Nirelle said.

“I am looking forward to working together with the team to grow and shape the future of Astellas so that we can bring more value to Australian patients.”

Nirelle succeeds Lizzie Marett, who headed up Astellas locally since 2020 and transitioned to a global role in April 2024.

The company aims to advance its oncology portfolio, which includes two products currently under evaluation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Vyloy (zolbetuximab), a monoclonal antibody combined with chemotherapy, is being considered for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2-negative gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (G/GOJC) whose tumours are CLDN18.2 positive.

Additionally, the antibody-drug conjugate Padcev (enfortumab vedotin), in combination with MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), is under TGA evaluation for the first-line treatment of adult patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer.

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