TOKYO and CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, collectively with its subsidiaries "Astellas"), Donate Life America and the World Transplant Games Federation today announced that Astellas and Donate Life America registered thousands of new organ donors and tripled the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for online organ donor registrations in an eight-hour period. During the same day, a record crowd for a rugby match held in America joined as Astellas provided a $175,000 USD contribution to the World Transplant Games Federation during a halftime celebration featuring transplant recipients from around the world.
"We are very pleased with the response and want to sincerely thank everyone who showed their commitment to this cause by registering to become an organ donor," said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas Pharma Inc. "This achievement reflects our more than 20-year commitment to the transplant community and continued collaboration with partner organizations to address unmet medical needs."
"Someone is added to the organ donor waitlist every 10 minutes in the United States. These people are desperately seeking an organ donation – a gift of life – and for them to receive that gift, we need organ donors," said David Fleming, president and CEO, Donate Life America.
"We created Fit for Life! to inspire transplant recipients globally to lead an active life and to treasure their most precious gift. It also demonstrates to the world the power of donation and transplantation," said Chris Thomas, president, World Transplant Games Federation. "And just as importantly, it allows the global transplantation community to say thank you to the people who made it possible – the organ donors and their families."
Support for increasing organ donor registration and the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempt spread quickly via social media thanks to engagement from top athletes, rugby teams and celebrities around the world. Potential organ donors living in the United States were able to visit RugbyRecord.org or use their Apple iPhone to easily access Donate Life America's national registry. Around the world, supporters raised additional awareness of the campaign via social media by sharing the hashtag #organdonor via Twitter. Each share led to a $5 USD contribution from Astellas to the World Transplant Games Federation, totaling $175,000.
Earlier this year, the World Transplant Games Federation launched Fit for Life!, an initiative supported by Astellas and designed to help transplant patients live full and active lives through ongoing physical activity and participation in organized sports. Astellas also collaborated with Donate Life America to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for online organ donor registrations.
About Astellas Pharma Inc.
Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. We focus on Urology, Oncology, Immunology, Nephrology and Neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities. We are also creating new value by combining internal capabilities and external expertise in the medical/healthcare business. Astellas is on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients. For more information, please visit our website at www.astellas.com/en.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate LifeSM; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; maintains the National Donate Life Registry, www.RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs. For more information, please visit www.DonateLife.net.
About World Transplant Games Federation
The World Transplant Games Federation unites transplant recipients from across the world to promote the success of organ and tissue donation and life-saving transplantation. With more than 70 member countries, we stage the world's largest awareness event for transplantation, the Summer World Games, to inspire the public to consider organ and tissue donation. We inspire recipients to rehabilitate following their transplant and keep fit and healthy in their ongoing journey. Visit wtgf.org to learn more.
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SOURCE Astellas Pharma Inc.