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Teva Pharmaceuticals honours TCD graduate and former Head of R&D, Dr. Fiona Millar

Official opening of ‘Millar Laboratory’ at Teva Pharmaceuticals

In 1983, Fiona Millar began her pharmacy studies at the School of Pharmacy, Trinity College, Dublin. Fiona graduated with a BSc. (Pharm) in 1987 and decided to combine her pre-registration training year with research on the topic of Physiochemical Investigations of Caseins as Pharmaceutical Excipients in Solid Dosage Forms under the supervision of Prof Owen Corrigan in the Department of Pharmaceutics. She became a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland in 1988. Fiona remained focused on her research work and was awarded a PhD in 1991. Armed with her PhD, she joined Norton Pharmaceuticals (as it was then) in Waterford, in 1991, as Formulation Manager. At the time Norton Pharmaceuticals was a small generic medicines manufacturer employing less than 100 people in Waterford.

Fiona was quickly promoted to head up the development organisation in research and development (R&D). At that time R&D shared a laboratory with quality control; Fiona was determined to have a separate R&D facility and, accordingly, helped drive the move to the current building, just after it was built in the mid-1990s. Fiona’s drive and vision for the R&D facility at the Waterford site helped lay the foundations for what has now become a premier R&D facility and manufacturing campus within the international Teva Pharmaceuticals network. Amongst the projects that Fiona took the lead was the transition of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) propelled inhalers to hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs) propelled inhalers. This was followed by securing FDA approval for the HFA propelled inhalers; a significant achievement at that time, for a generic medicines manufacturer in Ireland.

During this time, as Norton Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Ivax Pharmaceuticals and, subsequently, by Teva Pharmaceuticals, the company grew significantly in size and currently employs close to 500 people at its manufacturing site in Waterford.

On her marriage to Kevin Quaife in 2003, Fiona took up a position with the Health Products Regulatory Authority in Dublin. Their son, Sam, was born in March 2007. Sadly, after an illness borne with great dignity, Fiona passed away in December 2008.

In 2013, Teva Pharmaceuticals marked the completion of their new pilot manufacturing facility and, recently, Teva Pharmaceuticals completed an extensive laboratory upgrade to support the manufacture and development of respiratory products for supply to the United States and other global markets. Teva Pharmaceuticals  named this the ‘Millar Laboratory’ to honour the memory of a compassionate, dedicated pharmacist whose enthusiasm, knowledge, determination and expertise made a significant contribution to the growth and success of Teva Pharmaceuticals.

On 6 March 2015, in honour of her daughter, Mrs Lynda Millar performed the official opening of the ‘Millar Laboratory’ at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Waterford.