Recruiting Site


Someone who has fun addressing difficult challenges while elucidating the properties of bio-drugs

Misato Takagi

Pharmaceutical Technology Div.
Analytical Development Dept.
Since 2017

Awaiting her was the challenge of unexplored territory

Misato Takagi actively works on the front lines as an engineer engaged in bio-drug characterization. Takagi majored in applied chemistry in graduate school, where she worked on the organic synthesis of small molecules. After joining Chugai Pharmaceutical, she became involved in bio-drugs, which was completely new and unexplored territory for her. ‘I was hoping to take on new challenges, and Chugai Pharmaceutical welcomed that ambition. Having said that, when I started to work with bio-drugs after joining the company, I was shocked by how much they differed from the compounds with a molecular weight of around 500 that I had worked with at university. Some bio-drugs have molecular weights of up to 150,000 and chromatographic analysis revealed so many molecular variants of the desired product that initially, none of their properties could be seen. I felt that it would be fun to elucidate it, which boosted my motivation.’

After joining the company, Takagi was assigned to the Analytical Development Department, and she started her career working in applications for manufacturing approval of newly developed bio-drugs. ‘In my first year at the company, I was in charge of analyzing a bio-drug to obtain the characterization data required for the application. As we intended to file the application for the drug globally, we regularly held online meetings with Roche’s people, which gave me the opportunity to discuss the data I obtained.’ She was given more opportunities to use English than she expected, which made her more determined to work on studying English seriously. Being given the experience of working with overseas colleagues so soon after starting at the company helped Takagi to grow, and in her second year at the company, she was tasked with the approval application for a new bio-drug in Japan and overseas.

Discussion with team members is the most fun

In the approval application work she was involved in during her second and third year at the company, her job ranged from obtaining data to writing applications documents, and she played a key role in delivering new bio-drugs to the world. ‘In addition to liquid chromatography, I received a wonderful lesson from a brilliant senior colleague in my team about mass spectrometry and interaction analysis, which greatly improved my analytical techniques. Based on that, I completed the application package using the data I obtained and accomplished a series of analytical tasks that were necessary to deliver the drug. That was invaluable experience for me.’ Takagi says that Chugai Pharmaceutical has a corporate culture in which young employees are given opportunities and encouraged to grow, and she finds great appeal in forging her career path in such environment.

From her fourth year at the company, Takagi was entrusted with more advanced themes. She is currently working on obtaining data on the physical properties of a bio-drug candidate that is at an early stage of development, using various testing methods. In addition, she identifies and evaluates changes in that data that are likely to affect product quality, thus contributing to subsequent development strategies. Takagi says that although she frequently faces complex problems, she enjoys discussing them with her team members to find solutions. ‘It’s fun to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the product based on the data obtained, and when an unexpected problem arises, if I throw it up to the team, they come back with their opinions one after the other. When we find a clue to solving the problem through this kind of free discussion among the team, it is very exciting.’

To become a company that leads the world in analytical techniques

While working very hard on the characterization of bio-drugs under development, Takagi is also pouring her efforts into the development of new analytical techniques as a means of performing that characterization work. ‘Although Chugai Pharmaceutical has a proven track record in bio-drug products, we still have a long way to go before we are recognized by the world for our analytical techniques in that regard. Moreover, the field of bio-drugs is currently developing at a tremendous speed, so conventional analytical techniques are no longer able to keep pace. For this reason, I believe that research and development of new analytical techniques will be of immense importance for Chugai Pharmaceutical to compete in the world.’ If new analytical methods can be developed and the results presented at academic conferences and the like, and techniques can be established in collaboration with other companies and academia, the likelihood and speed of success of bio-drug development will increase. Takagi hopes to have a positive impact on the entire industry and to help many more patients with Chugai Pharmaceutical’s leadership.

She says that Chugai Pharmaceutical has a corporate culture that allows employees to freely express such awareness within the company and to have frank discussions with supervisors and colleagues. She sensed that kind of atmosphere at the time of her job interview, which was the main reason she decided to join Chugai Pharmaceutical in the first place. ‘At my job interview, we had very frank communication and the interviewers respected my ambitions. In fact, ever since joining the company, not once have I ever been denied something that I wanted to do. I believe that this is a place where any career path is possible if you really want it.’ Takagi is very excited about what future challenges she can take on at Chugai Pharmaceutical.

*The contents of this article, and the divisions that the people featured in this article belonged to and the names of those divisions are current as of the time of the interview.


  • Like
  • Post
  • LINE it!
  • E-mail
Back to top