Colin McBean joins Astellas to oversee Americas branding

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Astellas has named Colin McBean as senior director of product and brand communications, overseeing all product communications and Astellas branding in the Americas.


McBean will join the Japanese pharma company next Monday, based in its U.S. headquarters in Chicago. He will oversee comms for all of Astellas therapeutic areas, including for its drug product launches, new indications, and lifecycle management, McBean said. McBean will report to Moyra Knight, executive director of communications and corporate citizenship.


His brand communications responsibilities include managing Astellas' brand and corporate reputation in the Americas. Astellas has run corporate branding commercials on CNN in recent years to boost name recognition for the 13-year-old company.


“It's a fantastic opportunity to work with highly experienced and innovative communications team that [Jeff Winton, SVP of corporate affairs] and [Knight] have built and to further build upon their strong momentum,” said McBean.


McBean's newly created role is part of a larger restructuring of the communications team.


Along with this brand and product communications-focused role, the pharma company also added staff to its stakeholder engagement and corporate citizenship teams, along with a new role focused on patient and culture communications, Knight said.


One specific focus area for McBean is communications about Astellas oncology products, including a treatments in late-stage trials.


“We have a pipeline that's building in oncology,” Knight said. “We have a number of molecules that are in development that we're very excited about. Now's the time to provide those oncology teams with the support they need from a communications perspective.”


In March, Astellas submitted its acute myeloid leukemia drug, gilteritinib, for marketing approval in the U.S. and Japan. Gilteritinib is one of Astellas' two cancer treatments in phase 3 trials. The pharma company already has approved cancer treatments for prostate cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer that it developed with Genentech and Pfizer.


Previously, McBean led global communications and corporate identity at food processing company Archer Daniels Midland for one year. He also worked in marketing and communications for two other pharma and biotech companies, Abbott and Baxalta. Earlier in his career, McBean worked in comms at Chrysler, and at PR agencies Burson-Marsteller and Golin.


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