The story behind QbD
Since its early years, QbD has grown exponentially: QbD recognised and seized the opportunity that the growth in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological sectors offered them. However, QbD could not have managed this success without its strong team, open communications and down-to-earth approach.
QbD has a team of passionate staff that utilise their diversity and distinct competences to achieve a mutual goal. This team is the driving force behind the company. That’s why QbD ensures that the time employees spend at QbD is both enjoyable and educational. How? For example, the team is offered five to ten training days each year, in addition to courses and seminars at home and abroad. The result: versatile, flexible experts with a great future ahead of them.
Besides educational investments, QbD offers their employees as much quality time as possible. As a company, we believe in the work hard, play hard motto. That’s why QbD organises teambuilding activities both during and outside business hours. Like the annual brew of limoncello and fragole cello for clients – all with respect to GMP guidelines of course. And the frequent after work drinks and trips to Tomorrowland. QbD’s ultimate ambition is to be a healthy and appealing company to work for and with which to do business.
Bart Van Acker
Bart van Acker graduated from university with a degree in bioengineering. In 2003, he started working as a validation engineer at Alcon-Couvreur. A year later, IT integrator Ordina took over the validation team. When the business grew, Bart was given responsibility for both business development and the joint venture with Passwerk, an IT company that employs people with an autistic spectrum condition. Bart became business unit manager for the pharmaceutical sector and testing activities. Year on year, the business unit was one of the most profitable in the company. In 2011, Bart decided to start up QbD and five years later, QbD employs more than 150 people in the Benelux and is on the verge of international expansion.
“If you want to guarantee the best possible results, you have to focus. This is one of the major assets of a small company like Quality by Design. Whatever the company earns is reinvested in the business: in the staff, the organisation and solutions for clients. We take decisions rapidly. This means we are able to respond flexibly to needs and trends.” – Bart van Acker
Albert Verschoor (in memoriam)
Since the beginning, Albert Verschoor has run QbD in the Netherlands. The ambition of QbD in the Netherlands is clear: to follow the same growth pattern as in Belgium, with customer focus as a priority. Albert Verschoor studied psychology and IT, and worked in consulting and had sales functions for various organisations, including chemical and petrochemical companies. During his time at the Dutch multinational Royal DSM, Albert was part of the company’s transformation into a life sciences company. This job required him to be familiar with GMP and it was during a GMP training course given by Bart that the two met.
“The pharmaceutical industry is in an exciting transitional period. Medical and biotechnological innovation are occurring rapidly, Research and Development processes are under constant scrutiny and business and sales models are changing. QbD can add a lot of value to those change processes. Moreover, QbD is contributing to products that help people. I find that idea motivating.”
– Albert Verschoor
Alicia Tébar has over twenty years of professional experience as quality control manager and research and development manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She graduated in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona. In 2004 she began her career as consultant on behalf of specialised life sciences firms. She became a Six Sigma Black Belt specialising in process improvement and implementation of Quality by Design. Since then, Alicia has assisted several pharmaceutical companies with QbD implementation, including training of technical staff in risk analysis, DoE and statistics, and more. Since 2011, Alicia has been a member of the Board of the ISPE’s Spanish chapter. In July 2015, she founded QbD Pharmaceutical Services S.L in order to continue supporting the life sciences clients around Europa and South America. Shortly after, the first contact with Quality by Design took place, in November 2015. Together, the companies join forces to elaborate a complete service offer to cover the whole – long and complex – lifecycle of medicines.
“The strong quality culture, and the science that’s behind everything: that’s what attracts me in the life sciences industry. Life sciences is going to undergo big challenges, including biological products, industry 4.0 and continuous manufacturing. We want to be part of the whole history!”
– Alicia Tébar
As a QFB (chemical bio pharmacist), graduated from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), Jaime Castro has been working in consultancy for the pharmaceutical industry since 1999, focusing on validation, QMS, CSV and project management. During his career, he has helped and advised over 150 of the main pharma companies in Mexico. When QbD Belgium was looking for a company in Mexico to expand the QbD business and set up a strategic collaboration to create a global company to serve the international pharma industry, Jaime found that QbD’s vision, values and principles were parallel to theirs, which resulted in a new company ‘BPF part of QBD’.
“Both companies are similar in many aspects. The nature of our work is based on the same principles: quality systems, regulations and the best service. We are both dedicated to bringing the best quality solutions to the industry. Together we can focus on doing the right things and achieving mutual benefits. We are able to reach global expansion of our businesses and optimise our services to serve clients even better.”
– Jaime Castro
In 2003 Thomas completed his Life Sciences Studies. He started his career as a Sales Consultant for suppliers of large scale automation projects in the pharma and biotech industry. For 10 years, he guided international customers from purchasing to implementation and validation of complex automated systems. Subsequently, Thomas founded his own company to help health based companies drive real innovation and make them commercial viable. After 7 years of successfully introducing innovations in the Dutch marketplace, Thomas decided to put his knowledge of brand building to good use for QbD B.V., when he joined the company as general manager.
“Our strength lies in being flexible, help our customers with their challenges while at the same time staying true to our own values. The ability to form partnerships, share knowledge, focus and have fun, are all strengths we apply to support our customers in their Quality challenges. I truly believe that, together with our customers, we can have an impact and change the world for the better.”
– Thomas Spanjers