Skip to main content
Aiden Lalor - Director, Process Sciences

My IOPS Career: Making Moves and Rising to the Challenge

At Regeneron, we seek out opportunities to continuously develop our careers – it’s part of The Regeneron Way values that guide our culture. My IOPS Career, a new series on our intranet, invites colleagues to share their career journey, what they’ve learned along the way and offer advice to help you grow and develop in your career at Regeneron.

“When you face a large challenge in your career, it’s very normal to have some self-doubt.” Aiden Lalor, Director, Process Sciences

In September 2014, Aiden was hired as just the third manufacturing employee at IOPS Raheen Business Park, Limerick, Ireland. With nearly two decades of manufacturing experience under his belt, he began his IOPS career as Associate Director, Downstream Operations. During this time, IOPS Raheen was very much in “start-up” mode, and Aiden’s initial responsibilities were to help hire the manufacturing team, learn how IOPS operates and work closely with the Rensselaer team to transfer processes to Raheen. No small feat.

Since then, he’s helped see the site through its Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) licensing, its first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections, numerous product transfers and countless other early milestones. Aiden’s role has also changed and grown over the years, most recently with a transition from Manufacturing to Process Sciences. He had been responsible for downstream operations in Process Areas 8 and 9, moved into the role of Director, Downstream Operations in 2019 and transitioned into Director, Process Sciences in December 2019. Here’s what he has to share about his journey:

 

  • On what he remembers most about his first year at IOPS: “How challenging it was! We were getting a huge site up and running very quickly. We had great support from the Rensselaer team and that certainly helped. But it was a great challenge and quite exciting. I wouldn’t change any of it!”
  • On advice he would give himself looking back: “Be confident in your ability to face challenges. When you face a large challenge in your career, it’s very normal to have some self-doubt. The size of the plant, starting with a small team – I had a lot of questions about if I would be successful. In retrospect, I would tell myself to take it one step at a time, have confidence in yourself and your team and don’t let the challenges overwhelm you.”
  • On his transition to Director of Process Sciences: “I had been working in manufacturing for 25 years and loved the work and team at IOPS, but I’ve always been open to change. I felt it was the right time to try something different. While there are some similarities between the two functions, I hadn’t been exposed to many elements within Process Sciences, so there is a lot of technical growth for me in this new role. I also get to work with a new team and see another side of the business. Hopefully I can bring a different perspective to the Process Sciences team. It’s great to work for a company that supports internal movement and growth and I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career here.”
  • On what’s helped support his career progression: “Taking the time to build strong relationships within my team, with colleagues across the business and with our U.S. colleagues. The importance of building strong relationships, especially in a highly collaborative environment like Regeneron, can’t be underestimated. Also, building a better understanding of the business. We’re very linked to what happens in the marketplace, so I focused on increasing my understanding of how the business runs and how that impacts us from a manufacturing standpoint. The Regeneron Forums and opportunities to engage with senior leaders have helped build that knowledge along with paying close attention to and understanding the markets.”
  • On his proudest moment: “When we received our manufacturing license from the HPRA. We had a team of people from the start who worked extremely hard across all groups and had such support from the Rensselaer teams. It was such a great accomplishment because the biotech industry is so large in Ireland and many didn’t think we could get the site up in the timeline we set. But we did and it’s a true reflection of a great team here and excellent collaboration globally.”
  • On his biggest challenge: “Dealing with a failure. As a leader you have to be able to handle when things don’t go as planned, but you’re also responsible for keeping your team motivated and morale up. It’s far easier to be a leader when things go right. When things go wrong, which they have, you have to dig in deep and keep going. My practice has always been transparency with my team. Speak the truth, recognize our strengths and collaborate closely to correct our failures and learn from them.”
  • On what he values most about Regeneron: “I fundamentally believe that Regeneron does have the patient as its core focus. We don’t just say it. It drives everything we do – our science, our processes, our focus on quality, our culture. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say our people. It’s the closest team I’ve ever worked with and I am very proud to work alongside them every day.”
  • On his best advice for fellow employees: “Have a hunger for learning, be curious and find ways to keep challenging yourself – and have confidence! We’re all human, when you look at senior people it’s easy to think they never doubt themselves or aren’t intimidated by challenges, but they are too. Don’t let fear of the challenge impede your potential. Also, listen and engage with those that are further up the path. Have an open dialogue with your manager, but also find someone outside of your group who you can get to know. Learn from them and discuss your career and where you may want to go, within your group or within another. Understand the IOPS culture and be comfortable and flexible with change!”