Interview with Christoph Wachter, Head of Clinical Operations for our full-service CRO since 2020
Christoph Wachter has been Head of Clinical Operations and Clinical Project Manager at ExperTrials since September 2020. A dedicated professional with a long-standing experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he has known Aurélie Weiss-Guimet, our CEO and Founder, for about 10 years. Theirs is a fruitful and respectful professional partnership that benefits ExperTrials’ clients and their clinical trials. We interviewed Aurélie’s right-hand man to learn more about his professional career and personal contribution to ExperTrials’ team.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about your work experience?
I’m a 56-year-old Austrian citizen, based in Vienna, Austria. I have a PhD in Biochemistry and 30 years of professional experience. I first did experimental research during my studies at the Sandoz Research Institute, the Pharmacological Institute in Vienna, and the Panum Institute in Copenhagen. I then entered the CRO world in 1997 working for ZAK-Pharma. I became familiar with Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Trials, which I coordinated in both Austria and throughout the European Union.
Have you always worked in a CRO environment since you first started your career?
Pretty much so, except for a few years! During my first years as a young professional, I built my knowledge and experience of Regulatory and Legal Affairs in different companies (Roche Austria, Torrex-Chiesi Pharma, Merck/Arcana Arzneimittel). I then became the Director of Research and Development and part of the executive board at AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals. I headed the departments of Clinical and Scientific Affairs (including Pharmacovigilance), Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, and Pharmaceutical Development. I worked on various R&D projects in (haemato-)oncology, pulmonology, neurology, and cardiovascular diseases, ranging from preclinical to clinical phase III. Needless to say it was a rewarding and enriching experience!
I met Aurélie Weiss-Guimet in 2013: she acted as the French partner for Denothex.
You also have experience as a business owner, don’t you?
Indeed I do! During a few years, I developed a business in LED-based lighting systems alongside my pharmaceutical industry job. More to the point, I joined a friend who started his own CRO back in 2013 – Denothex GmbH. I was Vice-President of Clinical Operations. We managed clinical trials of all phases across Europe and Israel, with a particular focus on biotechnology and medical devices in oncology. In 2019 Denothex was sold to Optimapharm where I became International Clinical Project Manager.
I also co-founded alcus med GmbH in 2017, of which I am the general manager. The company is dedicated to the development and marketing of foods for special medical purposes. Two products are available on the Austrian market to date: CoCurmin® Colo and CoCurmin® Tenera.
I have developed a special expertise in the 30 years I have spent in the pharmaceutical industry.
What is it that makes you and Aurélie such a good team working together?
Aurélie and I have great respect for each other. I admire how good she is at doing business and how bold, too! She has developed great connections within both France and Europe. I for my part have held several positions within pharmaceutical companies, including dealing with Regulatory Affairs, which requires a swift mind and an ability to adapt. On a more human side, I like building a team, which I have experience in, and dealing with clients. Finally, as a business owner, I have a sense of what is needed to keep a company alive and growing. I love to work with Aurélie, Pierre-Marie, and Ophélie, and greatly appreciate the team we have built and how dedicated we are to our clients.