Nutrasource Blog

Team Talk: Meet Anna Metcalfe, RAC, VP, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Posted by Nutrasource on Thu, Sep 17, 2020

In this special series, we highlight a member of the SGS Nutrasource team so you can get better acquainted with the experts behind your project.

From our global regulatory offices to the onsite clinical research unit, SGS Nutrasource's 100+ scientific and technical specialists have the skills and expertise you need to bring your project from idea to reality.

Today we sat down with Anna Metcalfe, RAC, V.P. Pharmaceutical Sciences, to learn more about how she got to where she is today, what makes her tick, and what's new in the clinical and regulatory field.

Team Talk Anna Metcalfe

Tell us about your current role and what it entails.

Many companies contact SGS Nutrasource as they lack the expertise in-house and are looking for advice on how to develop or market their product. My role is to provide strategic advice and leadership and determine the type of regulatory services needed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an urgent need for disinfectants and hand-sanitizers, as well as face masks and full personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyone. This has certainly been a unique situation in assisting many companies to complete various regulatory activities necessary to market these urgent supplies, where timing has been critical.

Typically, I am involved in product development activities, for example with drugs, medical devices, biologics, combination products, etc., and start with a detailed regulatory strategy to identify the path to market approval or a gap assessment of the data that is available.
I interact with Agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Health Canada for meetings and regulatory submissions (e.g., IND, CTA), as well as manufacture, scale-up, formulation activities, and clinical trials from Phase I to III studies.

How did you get started in the industry?

During my high school years in the U.K. I found myself leaning towards the sciences and especially the drug world. I chose summer jobs in pharmaceutical companies and worked in the labs analyzing chemicals and learning about drug development. This is where I first heard about thalidomide and the tragedy that this drug caused.

It had a huge impact on me, and it was not a surprise to anyone that I studied Pharmacology at University and obtained an Honours B.Sc. I was going to find the cure for cancer. After finishing my degree, I came to Canada and started a career in research and then transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry.

I initially worked in setting up clinical trials and contributed to the development and successful registration of several important oncology drugs, and other fields. After my initial dislike of completing forms and huge amounts of paperwork, I now enjoy positioning data in drug submissions and negotiating marketing approvals for products.

What do you enjoy most about your position?

Being able to be creative and versatile, and develop innovative products to bring to market. To know that these products can make huge positive changes in people’s lives is incredibly rewarding.

How do you see the regulatory and clinical trials field changing in the next 5 years?

Regulatory requirements for drug approvals are constantly changing and clinical trials to support the efficacy and safety of drugs (and other products) will need to take into account different lifestyles and interaction with other types of products to ensure safety. The typical Phase I, II and III clinical trials should be specifically geared to therapeutic areas to speed up development.

Any hobbies or pastimes you'd like to share?

My tennis days are over, so instead prefer long hikes with my two Sharpei. I love the peace and quiet in gardening. Just being outdoors is very relaxing, sitting on the porch with a magazine or book and a glass of wine. Maybe cooking classes in the future.

What's your favourite part about working at SGS Nutrasource?

I enjoy interacting with the talented staff who are committed to their specialty areas, and help support the growth of others in the company and new projects.
Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.
Want to explore career opportunities at SGS Nutrasource? Visit our Careers page.

Topics: Team Talk