Career Recruitment Site

Utilizing diversity to
improve my level

Downstream Bioprocess Labs., Pharmaceutical Research & Technology Labs., Pharmaceutical Technology Narumi Asano

Challenging research to make patients smile

I felt very close to medicine because I used to take it. When I was in high school, I took an interest in organic chemistry and decided to go on to the college of pharmacy in the hope that I would be able to develop drugs that could help people.

I studied organic synthesis at university and while job hunting, I was interested in the pharmaceutical industry as well as companies related to chemistry, flavor, cosmetics, and organic chemistry, and could not decide what to do after graduation. While job hunting, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred and I made up my mind. After leaving my home in Sendai, I had an interview for a job in Tokyo, and a huge earthquake happened during the interview. I could not go home right away and felt uneasy, but I was really encouraged by many people and they actually gave me a helping hand. At that moment, I confirmed my determination to join the pharmaceutical industry in the hope that I would be able to do something for society in return and make use of my knowledge of pharmacy to help people.

When I participated in an Astellas Laboratory Open House event (internship), I found two characteristics: Active communication among researchers and an open atmosphere where young people could express their opinions freely; and state-of-the-art facilities and a favorable environment for research.

My judgment was correct. After starting work at Astellas, I was assigned to the Synthesis Technology Labs., Pharmaceutical Research & Technology Labs., in which drug seeds handed over by the Drug Discovery Research Division are synthesized in large volume for development of the drug substance manufacturing process. We conduct evaluations to collect better manufacturing know-how for a limited period of time, and it requires a broad understanding of organic chemistry, safety engineering, and chemical engineering. The Pharmaceutical Technology Division has the Analytical Research Labs., specializing in analysis, and Astellas Pharma Tech, taking charge of drug substance manufacturing, and researchers can get feedback and ideas from various standpoints. Since all researchers are close to each other and always cooperative, we can learn a lot from them and get better know-how in such an environment.

During my school days, I conducted research with the primary objective of ascertaining reasons, but now at Astellas I am doing research with a focus on manufacturing drugs that are really useful to patients. I have many things to do, such as experiments, report creation, collection of manufacturing know-how and being present at the manufacturing site, and giving feedback on data collected in the field, although I find my job very rewarding in that the research outcomes may make patients smile.

Ideal workplace for mutual growth

Astellas always gives us an opportunity to improve our level: Senior workers often entrust responsible work to younger employees, and I was also appointed as a theme leader in the second year of my job with Astellas. Thanks to my colleagues, I successfully completed the project in 10 months, and used it as my opportunity to go on to the next step.
I am also attracted to my company’s support system. I used the “diploma grant program” in the fourth year of my job with Astellas and took a master’s course to study something new.

This program helps employees conduct their own research outside of work. We can freely use company appliances and equipment before and after office hours. I come to work early in the morning before I start work to do my own research, and conduct my daily tasks during regular office hours. The master’s degree is not directly linked to my daily tasks, but improving my level and skills is very important.

It seems natural to me that Astellas employees should be very ambitious and always incorporate new knowledge into know-how. In the laboratory we have employees with diverse backgrounds, including pharmacy, engineering, physical science, agriculture, and overseas studies. Being inspired by other employees and improving myself means a lot to me.

Many pleasures outside of the company

I had taken piano lessons since my childhood and wanted to pursue a career in music before deciding to go on to the college of pharmacy. Various club and group activities are conducted at Astellas. I joined the light music group and started playing the piano soon after entering Astellas. Other members play classic and jazz music very well. I started playing the piano again for regular recitals, and enjoy my life fully. Besides cultural clubs such as music, sports clubs and groups such as tennis and trail running are very active and the company provides support for these activities, creating a deeper connection with other employees. This kind of liberal corporate culture beyond work is one of the appealing aspects of Astellas.

I can feel a sense of fulfillment and am inspired inside and outside of the company, which is very meaningful to me.

Manufacturing department introduction