Interview with Alicia Tébar06/12/2016 - Bart Van Acker, Founder/Managing Director at Quality by Design
As founder and principal consultant of QbD Pharmaceutical Services, Alicia Tébar manages a seasoned consultancy team with 15-20 years of experience in pharma and delivered more than 100 projects for companies in Europe and South America. With the recent cooperation between QbD Belgium and QbD Pharmaceutical Services at the back of our mind, we are happy to ask Alicia some questions.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background?
“Since I graduated in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, I gained over twenty years’ professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a quality control and research and development manager. In 2004, I started as a consultant on behalf of specialised firms in life sciences. I am real passionate about quality, that’s why I became a Six Sigma Black Belt specialising in process improvement and the implementation of the Quality by Design methodology (QbD). Since then, I’ve assisted several pharmaceutical companies in QbD implementation, including training of technical staff in risk analysis, Design of Experiment (DoE) and statistics, technical support for QbD pilot projects, designing plans for continued process verification and the univariate and multivariate statistical study of processing historical data. I’m also a member of the Board of the ISPE’s Spanish chapter since 2011.”
What about the foundation of QbD Pharmaceutical Services?
“I founded QbD Pharmaceutical Services in July 2015, in order to continue supporting life sciences clients – mainly in Spain but also in the rest of Europe and South America. We were lucky that back then we already had a consolidated client portfolio and a good reputation in the market.”
Did you know about the almost identically named brother of QbD Pharmaceutical Services in the Benelux: QbD Belgium?
“No, it was quite a surprise to find a company with similar mind-set, values and even a comparable name. It was actually one year ago, in November 2015, that we had our first contact with Quality by Design Belgium. The first call I received I thought it was a joke indeed. However, we immediately realised that there were great opportunities to collaborate.”
What are the benefits of the collaboration between both companies and how do they complement each other?
“The service portfolios of QbD Pharmaceutical Services and QbD Belgium are different and complementary. By joining forces we’ll have the power to elaborate a complete service offering to cover the whole product lifecycle – that is actually quite long and complex in the case of medicines. We will also be able to deliver our services with local teams, completely adapted to the language and local culture of our clients. However, to achieve this we need to keep feeding our local team with skilled and knowledgeable consultants. The current consultancy business is strongly based on the human factor.”
How do you see QbD Belgium?
“We realise that the quick evolution of QbD Belgium in just five years is amazing and a model to follow. The HR management is one of the pillars and we’re looking forward to learn and try to apply this philosophy in Spain. We always see happy people working for QbD – and of course, happy clients.”
Last but not least, what is it that attracts you in the life sciences industry?
“The strong quality culture, and the science that’s behind everything. 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!”