Bola Akinlade, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, Immunology and Inflammation: It's really, really cool what you guys in IOPS are doing. You've got to manage a lot of the marketed stuff and also manage what's in the pipeline in terms of your clinical trials. How do you juggle such a large number of products that you have to manufacture for us?
Daniel Van Plew, Executive Vice President, Industrial Operations and Product Supply: We have built particularly the Rensselaer operations so that they're very good at receiving new processes and getting them into early launch. So this whole system was really built with that expectation that we would have a lot of molecules.
Bola: Some of our studies were impacted by COVID but we found ways around. We had to send drug to patients at home. We were doing everything we can, and a lot of credit to the team to come up with innovative ways to ensure the trials continued.
Daniel: We were able to keep our filling plant on track, which was not easy, and it was a mix of onsite and offsite. And the other thing is things happen in real time. You know, you're in the middle of a run. You don't have the ability to say, "Hey, let's talk about this next week." You might have three hours over which you have to resolve something. And that made it challenging too. I would say it was literally a heroic effort on the team's part.
Bola: I'm most proud of the team being able to accomplish so much despite the pandemic. For Dupixent, for example, we were able to get lots of regulatory approvals that actually would impact a lot of patients. We now have six diseases that Dupixent has shown efficacy in. I mean, that's amazing for one particular drug.
Daniel: Dupixent's just, you know, such a powerful motivator for people because they believe in it. They know it works. They see it growing. And it's just really cool.
Bola: I'm going to tell you a story. Some people that deal with the public received a note from someone whose dad was on Dupixent. This person wrote to the company saying, "I would like to thank the people who developed Dupixent, okay? Because this drug has changed my father's life." They were able to set up a meeting with the Dupixent team and surprised the dad and said, "This was what your son asked for as a holiday present for you."
Daniel: In my space, you always want to have that emotional tie between the workers and the drugs that they're making because my organization is the only part of the company that touches drug going into people. So having people have an emotional tie to it is so important. And as those stories came in, just the pride and the commitment that people showed to get this done which, by the way, plays into how we pulled it all off too. You know, the emotional tie to this was so, so strong for so many people.
Bola: You know, we talk about the Regeneron sauce, secret sauce, the magic. I think the magic lies in the people that work at Regeneron. You know, the COVID pandemic showcased how quickly Regeneron was able to apply its incredible science to actually addressing a scourge that most people have never seen before.
Daniel: Now, the collaborations, I think they're very, very powerful, sometimes in ways you don't anticipate.
Bola: Of course, this is Regeneron. We don't know when the next pandemic is going to come up. We don't know what it's going to be like but I can tell you that our scientists, okay, are already on the ready to address any emerging new conditions or new diseases 'cause we have the technology to do it. This is Regeneron.