In this article, we shine the spotlight on Kyriacos Demetriou, Quality Assurance Consultant at NDA.


A quality assurance perspective of drug development

Kyriacos Demetriou, Quality Assurance Consultant at NDA, was born and raised in Cyprus, studied in the UK, and has worked in countries across Europe and Asia. With nearly a decade of experience working in quality assurance, he gives a quality assurance account of drug development.

Kyriacos holds a master’s degree in chemistry (MChem) from the University of Manchester. “I have always been fond of science. As a child, I used to do experiments at home with magnets and other objects, so it was very natural for me to study something related to science. I studied chemistry because it is a very broad, fascinating discipline, and I was also thinking that I could work as a pharmaceutical chemist,” he recalled.

While studying, Kyriacos engaged in an internship program at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he worked in the R&D department developing novel small molecules through flow photochemistry.

“I wanted to discover myself and see what best fits me, so I got into the internship program for three months, working as a synthetic chemist in the R&D department. I took part in some interesting projects that involved earning patent space for some novel ACE inhibitors, and I enjoyed it. That experience triggered my passion for the pharmaceutical industry. I strongly believe that passion and dedication is important for success.”

After his graduation, Kyriacos spent about one and half years as an R&D materials chemist at a nano materials manufacturer before re-joining the pharmaceutical industry as a GMP External Auditor. His main duties were auditing manufacturers of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), excipients and packaging materials located across Europe and Asia according to GMP and ISO guidelines. Kyriacos worked as a GMP External Auditor for close to seven years before he started seeking other opportunities.

Finding flexibility and balance

“We had our two sons during the pandemic, so I was not just applying for any job; I was looking for a job that gives me flexibility. I saw an advertisement on LinkedIn for the role of Quality Assurance Consultant at NDA. The role was fascinating and ticked all the boxes for me, so I applied for it,” Kyriacos commented.

In January 2023, Kyriacos joined NDA as a Consultant to the Quality Assurance team. As a Quality Assurance Consultant, he provides support to ensure the continuous improvement and maintenance of the NDA Quality Management System and processes. He also offers strategic and operational quality support within the GxP area (e.g., GMP, GDP) at the global, regional, or national level, thereby contributing to complex projects from a variety of clients.

“I am pleased with this opportunity at NDA because I get to develop myself and advance my knowledge on quality. I am involved in different projects, with different clients, working on different types of products, such as APIS, ATMP, finished products, excipients, etc. It is so interesting to be part of a global organization that works with complex projects and pushes the boundaries. The best thing is that I work with experts who are also passionate about what they do. I feel the passion from my colleagues, and when I have any questions, they're always willing to support me. We work as a team to support the company and clients, and it is so satisfying to know that we are helping the patients as well. The expertise and energy that comes from all the people at NDA is absolutely remarkable. I feel really proud to be working with colleagues who are friendly, open, and trustworthy.”

Kyriacos talks about the flexible work culture and work/life balance that NDA offers. “I mostly work from home,” he said. “I live in Cyprus, I am affiliated with the UK team, and I work with colleagues and clients from across the world. I like the flexibility and added benefit, especially as I get to work on a global scale and still spend time with my family. I am also able to dedicate some time for personal development and can gradually get back to my exercise routine.”

The quality is in the details

Kyriacos is passionate about creating and maintaining quality systems and shares his thoughts on some key attributes that a quality assurance professional should possess. “When you work in quality assurance, you have to constantly remind yourself about your why and stay true to it,” he said. “A Quality Assurance professional should stay updated with the latest regulations and guidelines but should also be creative and thorough when working with clients. They also need to be flexible and open-minded because the quality assurance system that works for one company may not work for another.”

Based on his experience working in quality services, Kyriacos highlights the importance of quality assurance in drug development.

“A quality assurance system is required by law, so not having it can lead to regulatory issues for drug developers. It saves companies a lot of money, effort, and time because they are able to get it right from the beginning. Without quality, everything would be in chaos. Quality assurance creates structure and observing quality procedures ensures the safety and efficacy of medicines that are available in the market.”

About

Kyriacos Demetriou

Quality Assurance Consultant

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