The Astellas plant in Killorglin, Co Kerry, is among the companies that feature in ‘Innovate For Life’ – the IPHA campaign that gives a platform to patients, scientists, doctors and manufacturing leaders to explain the impact of their work on society and the economy.
Astellas makes an anti-rejection treatment used by organ transplant patients all over the world. The film features Killarney-based Anna Pokojska, a kidney transplant recipient and Transplant Games athlete; Louis Collins, Executive Director, Kerry Operations, Astellas; Fergus Foley, a local guesthouse owner; and Megan Staunton, Site Energy Lead, Astellas.
Anna received a kidney transplant in 2017. She was to compete in the World Transplant Games last year – but the event was postponed due to COVID-19.
Other companies in the latest campaign include Novartis and AbbVie. At Novartis in Dublin, scientists are working on gene therapy treatments for inherited retinal conditions. In Sligo, AbbVie is a catalyst for new jobs and cures in the northwest. Meanwhile, in a film about innovation in the treatment of cancer, Professor Owen Smith, a Consultant Paediatric Haematologist, OLCH, Crumlin, Dublin, explains how CAR-T cell therapy can produce an immune response in some children with leukaemia and some adults with lymphoma.
Louis Collins, Executive Director at Astellas (Ireland), said: “For over 28 years, Astellas has been a significant part of the economy and community in Kerry. More than that though, we have helped to power Ireland’s export-led growth, keeping medicines manufacturing going during the pandemic. The work we do in Killorglin is vital for transplant patients all over the world. We are proud of our impact locally, nationally, and globally. As part of ‘Innovate For Life’, we are telling that story.”
Michael Lohan, Head of Life Sciences at IDA Ireland, said: “The foreign direct investment biopharmaceutical sector has a hugely significant impact on the Irish economy, with 34,000 people directly employed across all regions. It is the third-largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally, accounting for exports of €70 billion. The sector has demonstrated a commitment to Ireland through continued investment, longevity and resilience. The industry has demonstrated real leadership in the global fight against COVID-19 through collaboration on research to dynamic supply chain responses, irectly supporting the demands placed on the healthcare system and wider society. The ‘Innovate For Life’ campaign helps to tell that impact and value story – a powerful narrative for a consequential industry.”
The new films are rolling out across IPHA’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels. They can be viewed on YouTube and on ipha.ie.