Vanessa Damment

A Global Regulatory Affairs director talks about how her career in pharmaceutical regulatory took flight.

Vanessa Damment 
When asked what I wanted to study at University after college I had a different answer each time! I decided to take a year out to decide what it was exactly that I wanted to do. During this time, I worked as an admin assistant at Shire, spending half my time in regulatory affairs and the other half in product development. I had a fantastic mentor there and so when I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry she recommended I study Pharmacy, which I did. I completed the four-year MPharm degree at the University of Bath, carried out my pre-registration year at Southampton University Hospitals Trust and finally returned to Shire. Over the next two years I increasingly had more exposure to regulatory CMC [Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls] activities, so I decided when I left Shire that I wanted to move into a more direct regulatory affairs position. 

I joined Allergan in early 2014 as an associate in the Emerging Markets team and over the next three great years I also got to work in the Clinical Trial Regulatory Group as a senior associate and then in the EU Regulatory Affairs team as a manager. When the time came to move onto the next challenge, I joined Amgen as a manager in their EU oncology team working on life-changing products for the treatment of multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukaemia. Due to personal reasons I recently moved to Amsterdam, and along with that move in March I joined Sanofi Genzyme working as a director of global regulatory affairs in their early immunology portfolio. It is a new challenge in a great company and I’m really excited for what the future will bring!

'Endless possibilities'

I have been exceedingly lucky in my career to have had numerous fantastic mentors and managers to whom I owe a great deal. More and more you are finding these real leaders who keep your career development at the forefront; it is a great time to embark upon a career in regulatory affairs. If I had one piece of advice I would give to someone entering this profession it would be to try anything once. All experience gives you something you can take away, and in regulatory affairs the possibilities really are endless – local, regional, global, CMC, clinical, post-approval, development, EU, US, emerging markets, labelling, promo, veterinary, devices, generics, pharma, consultancy, government agencies … you name it, you can do it, so keep an open mind and follow what you enjoy.