In the latest Science of Business podcast, which has been released today (April 28th) on all podcast platforms interviewee, Ruth Beadle Head of Cluster – Insulins Manufacturing at Sanofi recalls some of her career experiences ranging from early roles in the UK beer and soft drinks sectors to leadership in Sanofi via a stint at Waterford Crystal.
She also speaks about Waterford’s appeal as a great place to live and work; the importance of lifelong learning as well as looking at some of the lasting changes to global business arising from COVID-19 and how mRNA is a breakthrough moment for pharma.
Speaking of travelling from country to country for site visits within her role at Sanofi across Frankfurt, Germany, Beijing, China; Muppireddypally (MRP), India and Orel, Russia Ruth says,
“The life I had in the past was very tiring and very exciting; always on a plane or within the airport, it was lovely to go meet those different cultures to go and talk to the different people.
The flip side now is everything through zoom. On one hand, it’s much better because there’s no travel. However, I think on another hand, it can be difficult to divide your life between the time you’re on zoom. Essentially, when you walk out the door behind me here, how do you become a mother and a wife, and you know somebody who walks the dog? when do you even transition mentally?. So I think the balance has got to be somewhere in between. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the experience I had before, and I think that’s a good thing but I don’t want to maintain the experience that we have today. I think, to mix it in a smaller amount, where the format is appropriate, where we come together to achieve a purpose and then the rest of the time it’s okay to do it by zoom but I think we probably have to learn how to handle this way of remote working much better.”
Speaking of the use of messenger RNA regardless of just for the vaccine, but from the science point of view, Ruth says,
“I think we’re at the beginning of learning about it. When you look at it, the companies who are traditionally strong with vaccines aren’t really the people who are now the everyday names, so that’s one thing but equally with that acceleration in development into this business, you can see some of the challenges that people are facing. I applaud the companies, some of whom get bad press today with the courage that they’ve stepped into this with because everybody’s intent, has been to solve a world pandemic and I think sometimes some of these companies are getting bad press when actually what they’re doing is they’re breaking all sorts of paradigms, to get there so quickly. So I think there are challenges with going at the speed we’re going at, but I think it’s courageous and admirable and I think this whole pandemic has brought together the pharmaceutical industry in a tighter way, which is a good thing. I would like to see that we could work with regulators to address things faster, in such a way that we’ve been able to do so with the vaccines, I mean it really is a breakthrough.
The regulatory hurdles that you have to go through every step of the way are arduous, but then you have very great confidence in the safety of whatever the final drug is, so that works both ways. But just being able to get to everybody working faster and together; it would be great if that collaboration could continue, and I would hope that that would be the case.
I think the one disappointing thing has been overall being that it has regionalised the world, and do we really have an equitable solution for the world, or do we have one just for regions? I think that’s not something that the pharmaceutical industry will solve, that’s a much bigger case, but I would hope and aspire that we will have one faster slicker solution for many diseases, globally, and equitably.”
The Science of Business podcast series is hosted by the multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur and founder of Q1 Scientific Louise Grubb. The series features interviews with some of the key people behind Ireland’s global success in the health and life-sciences sectors. Louise brings her twenty years of experience within the sector to the table and her own knowledge of what is required to establish a successful business.
This latest episode of ‘The Business of Science’ is now available to listen to on all podcast platforms and on the Q1 Scientific website.