In this article, we shine the spotlight on Dr Sigrid Klaar, Medical Advisor and NDA Advisory Board Member.


A passion for patients’ access to medicines

Every expert has a strong motivation that fuels their passion and drives them to make a difference. For Sigrid Klaar, Medical Advisor & Advisory Board Member at NDA, her personal motivation is driven by her genuine concern for patients, particularly those battling cancer.

“Losing both of my parents to cancer during my studies greatly influenced my decision to specialize in clinical oncology. The experience shaped my personal motivation for patient well-being, especially improving the lives of those battling cancer. Patient access to medicines is very important to me and my greatest desire is that new valuable treatments reach the patients.”

Following her medical studies, Sigrid proceeded to combine research and clinical work for nearly 15 years, meanwhile gaining a PhD as well as a clinical specialist degree in oncology. With a growing curiosity in the regulatory field and driven by her interest in research and desire to contribute to medical science on a broader scale, Sigrid joined the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA).

“I enjoy writing, conducting research, analysing data, and explaining scientific concepts. I found the work at the agency highly stimulating and enjoyable. It was a perfect place for me to enhance my scientific knowledge, while embarking on a new learning experience in the regulatory world. With the patient’s best interest always in focus, I felt it was extremely fulfilling to be able to make meaningful contributions to regulatory decision-making.”

For 14 years, Sigrid served as a clinical assessor of oncology drugs and played a vital role in the assessment of a large number of marketing authorization applications for EU approval. Her role also included providing scientific advice to companies seeking guidance from the agency on their drug development plans. She was engaged in addressing complex oncology issues and drafting industry guidance through her deep in the EMA Oncology Working Party, where she later became the Vice Chair.

After years of managing cancer medicines as the rapporteur’s clinical assessor, she noticed that some of the new drugs were not being used by her former colleagues in the Swedish clinics due to reimbursement issues. This sparked her interest in Health Technology Assessment (HTA), ending up with a five-year long experience working part time at the Swedish Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency (TLV). “It was enlightening to be able to explore and gradually comprehend the differences in the perspectives and needs of regulators and payers, in terms of company hurdles to market access and ultimately to patient access.” Sigrid says.

After spending her professional life so far in healthcare and the agencies, Sigrid’s curiosity kicked in once again. She was eager for a new challenge and moving to the industry seemed like the natural next step.

Embracing a new challenge

“I started looking for opportunities where I could apply my skills from working in the clinic and the agencies. Specifically, a role that would allow me to combine my knowledge of oncology and HTA. I learned about NDA, a reputable consultancy firm known for its high-quality services, and when a former very valued colleague reached out to me from NDA, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.”

Sigrid joined NDA as a Medical Advisor & Advisory Board Member, where she leverages her clinical and regulatory expertise to support drug developers in different ways. She assists developers with their clinical trial design and helps to address issues regarding the acceptability of study designs and their results for marketing authorisation in the EU. Additionally, she identifies gaps in the clinical development strategy of new drugs from both a regulatory and HTA perspective.

“In essence, I am still playing the role of a regulator. But here, I do it proactively, before different agency interactions or submissions, and by helping clients address the regulators’ concerns.”

Sigrid understands the value of balancing work and personal life. When she's not working, she embraces the opportunity to connect with nature and spend time with her family. “The best way for me to recharge my batteries is by being physically active outdoors, preferably together with my family. Depending on the season, we go skiing, mountain biking, or kayaking. On rainy days, I like to read a good book with a nice pot of hot tea beside me,” Sigrid says.  

Teamwork makes the dream work

Sigrid genuinely enjoys the collaborative relationship she has with her colleagues. While applying her expertise, she is always open to listening to different viewpoints to find the best solutions for clients and engages in constructive discussions that foster knowledge sharing. In Sigrid’s words:

“One of the highlights of working with clients is the opportunity to contribute to diverse projects while also gaining valuable insights from my colleagues. It is fascinating to collaborate with colleagues who have vast knowledge about different regulatory aspects across agencies; it allows me to expand my understanding in those areas.”

Sigrid's motivations are deeply rooted in her unwavering dedication to patients and patient access to medicines. She is committed to improving the lives of those facing health challenges and has a strong drive for supporting drug developers.

“In my current role at NDA, I have the privilege of witnessing the emergence of promising oncology treatments and it gives me a lot of hope for future cancer patients. I am passionate about supporting drug developers because I know that my contribution plays a vital role in advancing the development of life-saving treatments.”

About

Dr Sigrid Klaar

Medical Advisor & NDA Advisory Board member

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