“When I was in my third grade of primary school, I read Madame Curie’s biography and that book really inspired me. Even though I was eight years of age, I found the scientific research very stimulating and exciting. That is what I owe my endless curiosity and passion for innovation.” says Maria Strano, Scientific Director of seQure.

Maria Strano is a Medical Manager with an extensive medical and managerial experience in world-leading pharmaceutical companies. She has been supporting Life Science companies across the entire scope of the drug development process by managing and coordinating clinical trials projects from phase I to phase III, and recently joined to seQure. She has a curious mind with a constant desire to know the development of innovative therapies and healthcare solutions.

Interview with Maria Strano, Scientific Director of seQure

Hello Maria, can you please let us know more about your background?

I am a Doctor in Pharmacy, with a Master in clinical pharmacology.
During my career, I worked in six big pharma companies (Lederle S.p.A., Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, IDI Farmaceutici, Pfizer, Daiichi Sankyo) and I achieved a strong experience in clinical research, project management and pharmacovigilance. I am extremely elated to join seQure Team and excited to pioneer new achievements that will contribute to the commitment of the organisation: “safeguarding patients’ health and improving their lives.”

How your passion for Life Sciences was born?

When I was in my third grade of primary school, I read Madame Curie’s biography and that book really inspired me. Even though I was eight years of age, I found the scientific research very stimulating and exciting. That is what I owe my endless curiosity and passion for innovation.

In the last years, we have been talking about the increasing importance of Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy a lot. What sort of dramatic changes does the pharmaceutical industry doing through?

It has been all about Digital Transformation and Patient Centricity. COVID-19 pandemic has increased dependency on technology. Every day we see the rapid progress of technology and Pharma companies are actively investigating the digital transformation by developing digital strategies, in order to increase efficiency and minimize risks.
The digital transformation has stimulated the big Pharma at every level of their operations, such as R&D, marketing, advertising and customer engagement.

The digital transformation has reset customer expectations and provided access to wide-ranging, independent sources of information on therapies and healthcare.

Restricted access under COVID-19 constraints has encouraged patients to embrace digital tools, take care of their own health management, and develop new relationships with health systems or healthcare professionals.

As a consequence, some big pharma companies are transforming their fragmented IT landscape into a customer-centric by implementing multichannel tools (i.e. social media, podcast, webinar, etc.).

Based on your numerous project accomplishments and experience in the industry, what would you say for the key success factors of a thriving project?

As first step, I always try to identify the critical and key factors of the project management, such as defining the project scope, changes and risks, identifying and prioritise goals and tasks, monitoring and controlling the progress, to remove bottlenecks.

For achieving excellent results, the trivet of people, technology, and process is extremely important. What I learned so far:

  • always work with a well organised Team, which is able to communicate well, to listen actively, and be responsible and honest.  During my experience, I have worked with a lot of experts and I really appreciated supporting and training young talents. Companies must play a leading role to prepare young people for the jobs of tomorrow. I strongly believe in talent programs.
  • Engage with the right and user-friendly technologies, that meet the needs and can design smooth processes for the entire Team.
  • Do not hesitate to challenge the existing processes.

For this reason, I really think that pharmaceutical companies gain real benefits when they work with the right partners who trigger the enthusiasm of the organisations to move forward.

You have a long experience in a big pharma company: in your opinion, what are the biggest challenges when a pharma company is looking for a life science consulting vendor? What makes the partner an outstanding service provider?

Pharma companies look for vendors with big expertise and with the ability to understand the industry standard and regulations, that change very often. So, it’s important to work with a partner who puts sustainable service levels first and who can solve the problems quickly and smartly.

I think a provider should be customer-oriented organization to be named as a real partner. The DNA of a service provider partner embodies outstanding skills of dynamism, interactivity, empathy, responsiveness, and engagement capacity to deliver the desired performance.

That was the main motivation for me when I decided to join seQure. The Team is passionate to create value add to their clients and supporting them the leverage the business performance of the customers’ overall.

I am impressed with the vision of our company, and I will be delighted to create a valuable contribution to the success of seQure customers with my experience and competences.

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