Astellas Pharma, a drug firm based in Japan, is shutting down a drug discovery operation in Durham.

Astellas said its Urogenix subsidiary facility will be closed “by the end of December.”

Some 13 scientists and staff work at the facility, Asetllas said in a statement issued early Monday. 

The lab focused on urology drug research.

Astellas acquired the lab in 2006 from Dynogen Pharmaceuticals.

The work being done in Durham will be transferred to a center in Japan, the company said.

“The decision to transfer urology research activities to Japan will strengthen the company’s commitment to optimizing its research and development resource allocation,” Astellas said in a statement.