Astellas Pharma replatformed its corporate site to strengthen web governance with Drupal 8


The Challenge

Actively partnering with academia, research institutes, and biotech companies globally, Astellas Pharma has a sales network that covers more than 50 countries. With these partnerships and an expanding global presence, Astellas wanted to create a global website, as well as be able to update and refresh its local sites. Each website’s objective was to provide the latest company news and right information in a timely manner, and to create and maintain a channel between the company and its stakeholders worldwide.


Astellas Pharma wanted to replatform it’s corporate site to further strengthen the publication of important information and governance in a more timely, secure and stable manner, regardless of region or language.

Why Drupal was Chosen

Selected as the digital technology agency partner, CI&T identified three main pillars to support a unified Astellas digital presence early in the process:

  • Web governance
  • New brand guidelines/Global rollout
  • Global optimization of the WEB Platform

With a global rollout in mind, reusability was paramount. With its standards and features and add-on modules capabilities, it was an easy decision when it came to choosing Drupal. Another benefit to Drupal was its cost model (proprietary/licenses vs open source) compared to other platforms evaluated.

CI&T knows that Drupal is a powerful framework that provides out-of-the-box features that can be easily extended and customized. This meant we could use Drupal’s existing features, yet customize the code where necessary. Also, Drupal’s offering of general-purpose, high-quality modules - such as Workbench Moderation - meant that Astellas could implement code more quickly while meeting business requirements.

How CI&T Executed

Astellas Pharma corporate site replatform was broken into three phases. The first was establishing web governance. The second was the application of new branding guidelines as part of the global expansion. Third was the global optimization of web / IT infrastructure in relation to the overall system strategy. In addition, the site needed to be responsive and easy to manage and scale without increasing resources.

Governance was an incredibly important aspect to the success of the project. By unifying systems into Drupal and Acquia Cloud Site Factory, changes are universally tracked, managed and acted upon by a core group. This oversight and security gives Astellas the ability to launch new country sites in a timely manner with the full knowledge that every site is fully protected by rigorous security and monitoring systems.


Along with governance, the new global platform is also secure, reliable and managed. With the use of Acquia Cloud Site Factory, Astellas Pharma has been able to increase operational efficiency such as server configuration, capacity support corresponding to multiple load balancers, and so on.

“We guarantee platform operation on 24 hours and 365 days, we also manage surveillance and operating environments,” Mr. Yoichiro Kawanami, section manager of the information system department at Astellas Pharma, said, “So we have a complete system for troubleshooting. Security measures for WAF and CDN functions are provided through Acquia Cloud Edge Protect which can block malicious attacks.”

The solution

With digital technology agency partner CI&T, Astellas Pharma started using Acquia's cloud solutions and Drupal 8 to develop a standardised platform for the development, management and governance of multiple multilingual websites.


The corporate site for a global audience with English and Japanese as the two initial languages was launched in June 2017. Using Site Factory, Astellas Pharma will continue to deliver more than 30 regional sites serving the Americas, EMEA, and Asian markets, which are all independently operated.

Speaking with Markezine, Mr. Masaaki Matsuda, part of the public relations department at Astellas Pharma, said "By unifying and managing websites of each country around the corporate site, Astellas' digital properties are centered around vision, standing at the cutting edge, changing medical care and scientific advances into patient value."

According to Mr. Kawanami, with its flexibility, security and dedicated community, Drupal and Acquia will become the standard of the future for enterprises in Japan and the wider Asia Pacific region.


This project, supported by CI&T, has driven the "Astellas Way" initiative by executing a digital governance strategy that focuses on key pillars including security, time to market, quality, standardisation, innovation, and user experience.


About Astellas

Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. We focus on Urology, Oncology, Immunology, Nephrology and Neuroscience as prioritized therapeutic areas while advancing new therapeutic areas and discovery research leveraging new technologies/modalities. We are also creating new value by combining internal capabilities and external expertise in the medical/healthcare business. Astellas is on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.


About CI&T

CI&T, the lean digital transformation partner for the world's biggest companies, is a pioneer at delivering speed-at-scale through the application of design thinking, lean methodologies and advanced tech, including Machine Learning/AI, Advanced Analytics, Cloud and Mobility. For over 20 years, CI&T has been a trusted partner for the most complex global engagements inside companies including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, AB-InBev, Itau Bank and Motorola. With over 2,500 digital business strategists, designers and engineers in the USA, Brazil, UK, Australia, Japan and China, CI&T is big enough to scale to the needs of Fortune 100 clients yet agile enough to achieve the speed-to-market today's customers demand.