People power from Takeda
Takeda is a global research-based company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals.
The company strives towards better health for individuals and progress in medicine by developing superior pharmaceutical products. Takeda has a global network of subsidiaries geared toward meeting this goal, which includes Takeda Ireland Limited (TIL). Paul Blunnie, plant director, is both proud of and excited by the work that TIL performs. He was happy to tell Manufacturing Today Europe more: “Takeda Ireland has played a pivotal role in the group’s worldwide operations and aspirations since 1997. Since our establishment we have served as Takeda’s main pharmaceutical production base for Blopress and Amias in the European and US markets.
“We strive towards better health for patients and try to develop superior pharmaceutical products. Working closely with the medical industry and patients, we are able to get to grips with the important issues, which will ultimately help us achieve our goal of curing/helping to prevent disease,” he adds.
TIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and began manufacturing in Ireland following the opening of a custom-built facility in Bray in 1999. The company’s early success was supported by the construction of a new plant to enable the manufacture of Takeda’s largest selling product – Lansoprazole – in 2000.
As a dynamic and growing pharmaceutical company committed to improving the health and quality of life of people around the world, TIL will put people first, as Paul explains: “People are our number one priority – both the patients we serve through researching and developing superior products, and the employees who share our passion for making a difference. We have never lost sight of this and, indeed, this focus strengthens with each passing year. I think it is important to stress that the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has been around since 1781 and one of the key reasons for such longevity is this genuine focus on people.”
He continues: “Here in Ireland, we specialise in oral dose pharmaceuticals for lifestyle-related illnesses such as diabetes, insomnia, bone diseases and gastroenterological problems. The group has a very strong focus on researching, and developing, top-quality products to aid the treatment of disease and is committed to making a real difference. As Takeda is a research-based pharmaceutical company, we are involved in regular scientific discussion, research initiatives and development – all of which is vital in meeting the challenges of the modern pharmaceutical industry.”
As a group, Takeda focuses a lot of effort towards the early launch of new products onto the Japanese, European and US (tripolar) markets, while maximising the added value of the products. This enables Takeda to build up a solid customer base and gives it an industry foothold. Paul adds: “By reinforcing the development system and its functions at a global level, Takeda aims to accelerate the progress of development stages for its products and to achieve an early launch onto the market. This gets us into the market quickly, which is important as our products are largely perishable given the speed at which the medical profession advances.”
In 2004, Takeda opened a new bulk pharmaceutical plant in Ireland, as part of its global production network, which became the company’s new worldwide centre of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing – and Takeda Pharma Ireland (TPI) Limited was born. TPI makes a major contribution to product supply, process research, and cost competitiveness.
The decision to locate Takeda’s new worldwide centre for API manufacturing, development and technical support in Ireland represents a key strategic addition to the group’s global production network. Located at the high technology Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Business Park at Grange Castle in Clondalkin Dublin, TPI is Takeda’s first API plant constructed outside Japan.
“The API business is a little bit different,” says Paul. “It is a state-of-the-art, flexible API plant and gives us the ability to consolidate that supply chain all the way down through clinical trials to finished, marketable products. The new API synthesis plant – made for finishing products – removes the need for subcontractors, enables us to focus on our core competences and gives us a lot more control over the supply chain.”
He adds: “The Grange Castle API manufacturing unit is defined by its flexibility – it really is a very adaptable plant. A lot of API plants tend to be focused on one or two processes, but what distinguishes this one is its ability to handle a variety of robust and challenging requirements.”
Talking about Takeda’s future strategy, Paul concludes: “Over the last few years we have invested large sums in our Irish operations and this will continue in the coming years. But, although we will develop further into the future, it is important we don’t lose our focus on people, while we keep this momentum going. We are successfully breaking into new markets with some innovative new products and hope to secure those markets. We have good, solid, yet ambitious growth plans, and are optimistic for the future. I believe we have the financial backing, as well as enthusiasm, to take us forward.”
Products: Pharmaceutical products
Sites: Bray, Republic of Ireland