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Employee Interviews|Plant Technology

Employee Interviews

Occupation Plant Technology, Pharmaceutical & Fine Chemicals 
▶job description
Department Engineering Section, Production Department, Iwate Plant
Joined the company Joined 2020
University Department Bio-nano science and engineering


April, 2020 Assigned to Production Department, Iwate Plant

Daily schedule


Tell us why you decided to join SEKISUI MEDICAL.

I graduated from a four-year school of pharmacy, and in graduate school I conducted research on anticancer and antibacterial agents that specifically approach cell membranes. When looking for a job, I decided that I wanted to use what I had learned so far and work in the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to people's health. SEKISUI MEDICAL's pharmaceutical business manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) on consignment. I chose to work as a plant engineer because I was strongly attracted by the fact that I could be involved in both R&D and manufacturing, making the most of my expertise. The warmth of the employees and the sincere and serious culture that I felt during the selection process were also major factors in my decision.

Tell us about your current job and what makes it interesting and challenging.

At SEKISUI MEDICAL Iwate Factory, we are engaged in contract manufacturing of active ingredients of medicines, amino acids and investigational drug. The Production Engineering Section, to which I belong, is in charge of the entire process from laboratory studies to manufacturing of investigational new drugs, a job that requires a wide range of knowledge and experience because we handle equipment of various sizes, from laboratory experiments to scale-up studies at pilot facilities and actual manufacturing at commercial facilities. Every day, I feel the difficulty of setting up the experimental process while thinking about how to adapt our production facilities to the manufacturing method disclosed by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, which is our contractor. Another important role of the Production Engineering Section is to create work procedures based on the disclosed manufacturing method and experimental results, in accordance with the GMP law. We create the procedures by considering the feasibility of the work, safety of the workers and workability. There is a lot to learn because of the wide range of work involved. For this reason, I am very happy when the clinical trial I am in charge of gets off the ground.

Gaps you felt after joining the company.

There are two gaps I felt after joining the company. The first was the frequency of my visits to the manufacturing site. Before joining the company, I thought that I would mainly be studying manufacturing methods in the laboratory, as I was working as an engineer. Of course, we do study the manufacturing process in the laboratory, but for small scale themes, we also do the actual manufacturing by ourselves. In addition, in order to create work procedures, we sometimes go to the actual manufacturing site to check the status and layout of the equipment and piping to be used. The second is the breadth of knowledge required. Before joining the company, I had a vague idea that I would be required to have knowledge of organic synthesis. In reality, in addition to organic synthesis, we are required to have all kinds of knowledge about pharmaceuticals, including analytical methods, how to operate production facilities, legal knowledge such as pharmaceutical regulations, and the latest trend information on cleaning methods. Although I am often surprised by the breadth of the work and feel that the level of difficulty is high, I believe that this is a department where I can experience an indescribable sense of accomplishment when I connect what I have learned with the results of verification.

What are the points you feel proud of your office?

The Iwate Factory has been planting trees on the site of a former mine in the adjacent national park, in an effort to promote environmentally friendly practices. Also, in winter, the plant is surrounded by snow. The fact that there are several ski resorts nearby is another attraction of the Iwate Factory, being located in a very snowy area.

How do you spend your day off?

On my days off, I spend most of my time relaxing at home. Recently, I started taking piano lessons, so I practice the assigned pieces and my favorite songs after work and on my days off. I guess I just love the sound of the piano, and it's an important time for me to forget about the fatigue of work!