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Nobel Laureate, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn joins panel of THE ASTELLAS INNOVATION DEBATE 2013



    Nobel Laureate, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn joins panel of THE ASTELLAS
                            INNOVATION DEBATE 2013

  PR Newswire

  CHERTSEY, England, November 15, 2013

CHERTSEY, England, November 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

                 The Age Crunch - facts, fears and the future

                        Chaired by Lord Robert Winston

   Royal Institution of Great Britain, Tuesday 19 ^th   November 2013, 7pm

             To be webcast live:  http://www.innovationdebate.com

Australian/American Nobel Laureate Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn will be joining
a panel of internationally recognised experts for the 2 ^nd   Astellas
Innovation Debate: The Age Crunch   -   facts, fears and the future , taking
place on 19 ^th November at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Following
the success of the inaugural Astellas Innovation Debate, staged at the Royal
Society in November last year and focusing on how to nurture the scientific
innovators of the future, this year's debate moves the spotlight from young
scientists to the ageing population - an issue of decisive and urgent
importance.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn , Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and
Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University
of California, San Francisco, and the foremost expert on telomeres, the
protective caps on our chromosomes, commented:

"Telomere length is one statistical predictor of when we are likely to die.
 If we take a population and look at their telomeres, we have a very
real indicator, certainly within a few years, of the probability of dying. And
it's not just mortality, diseases are also affected. For example, you have
twice the likelihood of developing diabetes in the next five years if you have
short telomeres."

However, Dr. Blackburn warns don't expect a magic cure around the corner for
eternal youth.  

"Every huckster in the world has been out there with this, that and the other
for increasing youthfulness.  First thing is to be very afraid.  But if you do
want to live a longer life with healthy ageing, then do what your mother told
you, sleep well, eat well, try to maintain a good attitude and social
support and get some exercise."

Alongside Dr. Blackburn, whose Nobel-Prize-winning work explored the biology
of ageing, will be broadcaster and journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell ;
campaigner and politician Baroness Sally Greengross ; Professor John Appleby ,
Chief Economist at the King's Fund; Professor Tom Kirkwood, Dean for Ageing at
the University of Newcastle and Professor Tim Eisen , Professor of Clinical
Oncology at the University of Cambridge.

Chaired by Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus
Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London, The Astellas
Innovation Debate 2013 will explore the role of innovation as society faces
critical challenges resulting from an ageing population. The central issues
under discussion will be:    

  * How best can we support older people in the UK and Europe?
  * How can we rethink our approach to welfare and healthcare to tackle the
    major age-associated diseases?
  * How will an ageing society be funded and whose responsibility should it
    be?
  * How can innovation help society to value older people and to help older
    people make an active contribution?

The aim of the Astellas Innovation Debate 2013 will be to explore, through
thought-provoking discussion, whether the scientific ingenuity that played a
key role in creating an ageing society can now provide innovative solutions to
drive economic and social transformation - turning old age into a new age.

For further information, visit our website http://www.innovationdebate.com ,
or join the debate on Twitter @innovatedebate #AgeCrunch

Notes to editors

The Astellas Innovation Debate is to be chaired by Lord Robert Winston,  
Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies
at Imperial College London .

Confirmed panellists include:

Professor John Appleby       Chief Economist at the King's Fund since 1998 and
a visiting professor at the Department of Economics at City University,
London.

Dr Elizabeth Blackburn       Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and
Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University
of California, San Francisco, Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in
2009 and a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research.

Baroness Joan Bakewell       Broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell presents
Radio 3's Belief and Radio 4's Inside the Ethics Committee. She was the
government appointed 'Voice of Older People' between 2008 and 2010 and in
November 2010 she was made a working peer in the House of Lords.

Baroness Sally Greengross    A crossbench (independent) member of the House of
Lords since 2000 and chair of five All-Party Parliamentary Groups, Chief
Executive of the International Longevity Centre (ILC) - UK; Co-President of
the ILC Global Alliance.

Professor Tom Kirkwood       Dean for Ageing & Director of Newcastle
Initiative on Changing Age (NICA) at the University of Newcastle.  

Professor Tim Eisen          Professor of Medical Oncology at the University
of Cambridge.

About The Astellas Innovation Debate

The Astellas Innovation Debate, organised and funded by Astellas Pharma Europe
Ltd., explores the role of innovation in modern society.

This year's event, The Age Crunch: Facts fears and the future, at the Royal
Institution of Great Britain on 19 ^th November 2013, is bringing together
influential and respected figures from the worlds of science, government,
medicine, economics, industry and the media as they tackle the major issues
surrounding scientific innovation today and tomorrow. The aim of The
Innovation Debate is to air crucial issues, draw positive conclusions and to
move the agenda forward.

Everyone - professionals in science, medicine and industry, and the general
public - will have the opportunity to engage with The Astellas Innovation
Debate through online media which will take discussions far beyond the walls
of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The inaugural Innovation Debate at The Royal Society in London in November
2012 focused on innovation in a time of austerity and nurturing the innovators
of the future. Under the chairmanship of Professor Jim Al-Khalili it brought
together panellists such as Nobel laureate Professor Sir Andre Geim, physicist
Professor Brian Cox and Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics at
the University of Sussex.

About Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., located in the UK, is the European headquarters
of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company
dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the
provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus
is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world
pharmaceutical market. Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. is responsible for 21
affiliate offices located across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an R&D
site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs approximately 4,350
staff across these regions. For more information about Astellas Pharma Europe,
please visit http://www.astellas.eu .

Contact: For more information, please contact: Mindy Dooa, Communications
Director, Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd., Mobile: +44(0)7826-912-339, Email:
mindy.dooa@astellas.com.
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