Stories and Viewpoints

From Cosmetics to Pharmaceuticals, Manon Tourrette Formulates a Plan


By: Niki Kapsambelis


Manon Tourrette

When Manon Tourrette was attending university, she fell in love with the underpinnings of chemical formulation: how does shampoo clean? Why does it foam? What’s in the cream that we apply to our faces every morning?  


Such are the principles of galenic formulation, which is the method of preparing and compounding medicines into a product that optimizes the way the body absorbs them. At first, she focused on the beauty industry, where she learned how to shape a product by using technical knowledge to take theory into practice, all while meeting industry standards. 


“I found it fascinating to be able to understand how all these products that we are using on a daily basis are being created,” she said.  


Manon worked for several years for different cosmetic brands before moving into the pharmaceutical industry.  


“The sector is different, but the basics of the job are similar,” she said.  


Three years ago, she was hired to create a new galenic laboratory at what is now Viatris’ Merignac manufacturing site in the Bordeaux region of France. Starting from an empty space, Manon collaborated with technical teams to draw the plans and with partners to furnish it with equipment, both new and from internal partner sites. 


“We had to anticipate the impact this new work and infrastructure would have on our existing daily activities,” she explained. It was like trying to imagine a workspace that was not yet concrete, understanding what that would look like from a variety of perspectives: quality control, storage, or the health, safety and environment point of view, for example.  


Her manager, Khadija Marikh, advised Manon to draw on the expertise of others throughout Viatris to make the laboratory a collaborative reality. She was excited by the challenge. 


“You can’t know everything on your own. But when we look around us, there is always the potential to find the support and partnership we need,” she said.  


Within five years, Manon hopes the galenic laboratory will be able to take part in even more projects, particularly those involving innovation and new scientific development.  


When asked what advice she would give to other women who are embarking on their careers, she said: “When you want something to happen, you should dare and believe in yourself. To achieve your professional or personal goals, working is key.” 


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