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Park People: John Chaddock from Ipsen

Published on 14 December 2022

This month, we caught up with John Chaddock, VP Head of REED Operations and Milton Park Site Head at biopharmaceutical company Ipsen, whose efforts helped the company’s premises on the Park to be named as one of the best workplaces in the UK in 2021.

Hi John! Can you tell us a bit about Ipsen in your own words…

Ipsen is a global biopharmaceutical company with a mission to improve lives and health outcomes through its three key therapeutic areas of oncology, rare disease and neuroscience. We now have over 4,500 employees worldwide and an expanding portfolio of candidates in clinical and pre-clinical stages to complement our core products. 

Ipsen’s national R&D hub was established at Milton Park in August 2016 where today approximately 70% of the 75 employees based here specialise in its R&D operations. Our Milton Park premises comprises an active suite of significant, bespoke laboratory space as well as collaborative office and breakout space to ensure effective multi-disciplinary use.

As Ipsen’s UK R&D hub, the site plays a critical role in driving forward ambitious experimental science and innovation, overseeing a whole range of R&D functions and helping to foster strong industry relationships with some of the most prestigious institutions, hospitals and scientists. This is aided by Milton Park’s location in a rich innovation and entrepreneurial environment which allows for excellent business connection opportunities and recruitment of talent.

What does your role involve?

My role is primarily centred around the company’s REED Operations (Research, External Innovation and Early Development); a department within R&D that oversees the management of all projects up to the clinical stage and provide expert function support for all clinical and marketed stage assets. As such, I work closely with the Head of department to facilitate effective operational activities such as resource forecasting, financial reporting, communication, change management and team engagement.

Alongside this, I’m proud to have been Site Head for Ipsen for the past nine years, six of which have now been at Milton Park. Beyond my responsibilities across legal, compliance and health and safety, I lead on the delivery to achieve our site’s future vision and ensure that it fulfils its role within the company and beyond.

What do you enjoy most about your job and working at Ipsen?

I believe in and value the significance of Ipsen’s mission to improve lives and enjoy sharing the company’s ambition of delivering work which can make a real difference in the life sciences sector.

Last year, our site at Milton Park was recognised as one of the best workplaces in the UK by Great Place to Work. This year, we’ve been awarded a third consecutive HR certification for the site, taking Ipsen up to a total of 39 accreditations across 23 countries, and will find out early next year whether we’ve been identified as best in our sector for the second time.

I believe these achievements to be extremely well-deserved and clearly reflected in the positive working environment we’ve created at Milton Park that allows employees to grow and thrive alongside a strong wellbeing support system.

What’s an exciting project you’re working on at the moment?

Though there are several, a project I’m particularly excited about is our new mission to assist a US-based company we recently acquired with a clinical and pre-clinical portfolio.

As someone who also joined Ipsen through acquisition nine years ago, I’m thrilled to be part of the team leading the integration of this company into Ipsen through a range of activities.

Could you tell us more about Ipsen’s sponsorship of The British Liver Trust’s roadshow event at Milton Park? 

We’ve worked with the British Liver Trust on the charity’s Love Your Liver campaign before via our office in Slough. However, this year is the first time that we were able to participate post-pandemic to support the roadshow at Milton Park.  

Having the mobile liver bus come to Milton Park allowed us to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of liver disease – which we achieved by encouraging people to talk to healthcare professionals for advice on diet, exercise, and wellness in relation to liver health.

The equipment provided by the British Liver Trust that is not usually freely available to the public, enabled almost 100 personnel from our own site and across Milton Park to have a scan to assess their liver health, a great result from the visit.

How does your life and work connect at Milton Park?

When describing our presence at Milton Park and what it means for our staff and visitors, I often comment on the ‘greenness’ of the area and how much care is taken by the Park’s maintenance team to create a leafy, biodiverse site. 

I often like to take some time to refresh during the working day with a walk, and always feel that the pleasant, nature-filled environment provides an excellent space to do this. Even watering our raised bed at our urban garden plot at the end of a long day can be a great way to refocus and refresh!

What do you enjoy most about working at Milton Park?

Beyond working with the immediate team, it has to be the environment at Milton Park – not only the natural spaces but also the sense of community here, whether that be inter-company collaboration or people socialising outside on a summer’s day. It makes for an ideal location to feel inspired in your role and at work.

Milton Park also hosts numerous social and industry events for its occupiers and at Ipsen we make a keen effort to contribute to this community aspect of the Park by hosting promoting and hosts events ourselves. This includes presenting OBN’s BioTuesdays as well as volunteering and being part of local organisations such as The Didcot Powerhouse Fund and my personal role as a Director at Advanced Oxford.

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