Hi, I’m Lochlann Carney, and I’m the Senior Manager of Product Development, I head up the Formulation and Process Development team at Teva’s Waterford site.
My background isn’t as a ‘conventional’ scientist... For a long time, surfing was my life. I worked as an instructor at a local surf school for six years. But my dad worked in pharmaceuticals and in 2005 he set up his own company focused on highly-potent oncology medicines. A large part of that involved developing generic products to give patients highly effective but also cost-effective products. So, aspects of the development of pharmaceutical products were always in the background when I was growing up.
I went on to study Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry at University of Limerick... and in 2016, I got a job as a formulator for another company in Ireland, developing oncology generic medicines. From there, I moved to be a formulation scientist, and progressed to a Process Development Lead role, which involved managing a small team. Each of these roles were fundamental to the processing and formulating aspects of R&D within the organisation.
I joined Teva in 2021 as Manager for Product Development and then transitioned to a senior manager role... This job really excited me as it was in my area of interest, and it meant working for a multinational organisation. Teva is held in very high regard in Ireland, and globally. I also found I really enjoyed managing people, something I hadn’t expected, and I wanted to do that more and with a bigger team.
Today, I manage about 20 people at Teva. It’s a strong team of scientists and colleagues in operations. I’m responsible for getting the best out of the people in my team and making sure there are no barriers to them doing their job. I also get involved with a lot of troubleshooting of issues we face which is the nature of everyday life in R&D, and manage a number of projects external to the site with a view to internalising them to fuel the R&D and subsequent commercial pipeline of products for Teva. I still enjoy surfing - but just for fun.
My team focus on inhalers, specifically dry powder inhalers and pressurised metered dose inhalers... We’re involved in all the R&D in terms of processing and formulating those products. We work closely with analytics for performance testing and interpreting the results for new manufacturing campaigns, i.e., to address any outstanding risks or unanswered questions.
We basically put everything together to make a stable, functioning product. It’s comparable to baking a cake; things can go horribly wrong quite quickly! So we focus on aspects to control this and to ensure repeatability. A key responsibility of mine is designing a manufacturing schedule specific to R&D and ensuring we meet the timelines of same as much as possible.
Teva is keen to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the world... and we’re doing a lot of work with greener propellants. We’ve recently started to do some early feasibility work with a candidate green propellant material, scoping out whether it could work as a straight swap for some of the respiratory products Teva produces commercially already! We’re working with regulatory bodies to understand more about this area.
We’ve had significant investment into new facilities here... and now have two separate development labs – one for each type of inhaler pressurised Metered Dose Inhalers (pMDI) and Dry Powder Inhalers (DPI). This means we have a full suite of technology to help us develop our medicines.
The team here are really driven and enjoy their jobs... To work here, you need to be motivated by challenges and be able to overcome them to create robust products. We are a very close team and there’s a great atmosphere – it’s a nice place to work. The team is diverse, and everyone has their own individual ways, which helps create a really strong bond for us to deliver upon our targets and grow together as a team.
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