Member Focus - Yusuke Ishii, President of Astellas Ireland Co., Ltd.
From the interview to: Yusuke Ishii, President of Astellas Ireland Co., Ltd.
Damastown Road, Damastown Industrial Park, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
1. Could you give us an overview of your company?
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company that is committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions that bring value and hope to patients worldwide. Astellas Ireland Co., Ltd is part of the Astellas group, and started its operation in the late 1980’s in Ireland. There are two manufacturing sites at Dublin and Kerry, to manufacture urology and immunosuppressant products.
2. How did your company first become involved in the IJCC?
We got to know IJCC by the introduction of IDA Ireland.
3. Since last year you have been working in Ireland. How is your life there?
I travelled to Dublin in June last year. Since then, I am keeping hybrid working style of on-site at Dublin Plant, and working from home. Since my travelling to Ireland last year, strict restrictions such as travel, shopping, meeting with other households etc., have been in place in most of the period. This is the third time for me to stay long-term in Ireland as a secondee from Japan. Therefore, I am familiar with the life in Ireland, however, it is strange and different life from previous experience.
4. What was the biggest culture shock about business in Ireland and those in Japan?
When I stayed in Ireland for the first time in more than 15 years ago, I was surprised to see that people tended not to exceed their own job scope which had been defined as role and responsibility. However, once I knew the differences, it was not an obstacle to work together.
5. How has COVID-19 pandemic changed your business in a year?
COVID-19 crisis is a really challenging situation for plant operations, and still uncertainty remains going forward. Many safety measures have been taken to prevent on-site infection, and safety stocks for raw materials have been secured to sustain the site operation. Thankfully stable operation has been maintaining well in both manufacturing sites.
6. What areas of growth do you see for your company (or sector) in the next 12 to 24 months?
Astellas concentrate R&D investments on so called “Primary Focus”. These include Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria Biology, Genetic Regulation, and Immuno-Oncology. However, it takes longer time to launch the new product from these focused areas. Due to the difficult situation with COVID-19, it is important to deliver the VALUE to patients by stably delivering existing products including life-saving drugs. From these aspects, stable operations at both Irish sites are crucial. Astellas is committed to maintaining stable operation in Ireland.