Our clients operate in dual environments - life science and business - and we shape our teams around the common challenges facing these segments. Valid Insight’s international team draw on decades of market access, medical and relevant commercial experience.
Senior Director Operations / COO
James Wright is Senior Director of Operations/ COO at Valid Insight and leads the global consulting teams. James has a wealth of experience in global operations, commercial strategy and business performance. His focus is in developing business relationships alongside team development and he has a central role in overseeing and implementing company strategy.
James has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and consulting, starting with working in the UK NHS, then later in international pharmaceutical consultancy firms. He spent 13 years at Quintiles (IQVIA) in the commercial consulting group, prior to joining Valid Insight in 2017, quickly taking on roles in leadership and senior management. James has worked with most of the top 30 pharmaceutical companies and has extensive experience in market access optimisation, evaluation of strategic pricing and market access implications for new launches, and product/portfolio lifecycle optimisation.
James has been instrumental in building and managing the international multidisciplinary team along with diversified client solutions that have supported company growth.
James has an MSc in Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra and joined Valid Insight after 13 years at IQVIA.
Senior Director Commercial Strategy/ CCO
Frank Cousins is Senior Director and CCO at Valid Insight with nearly 25 years of experience as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Frank leads our commercial strategy and business development, and as a seasoned professional, works in close partnership with our clients to help define and solve their challenges as they seek to optimal access and commercial success.
Before joining Valid Insight, Frank’s career started with over 12 years in healthcare and medical communications, both educational and commercial, followed by 10 years with Quintiles Consulting/IQVIA working in a range of senior commercial consulting positions. His experience is end-to-end from evidence generation and clinical trial optimisation projects through to launch and eventual loss of exclusivity. He has worked across multiple therapy areas and with the majority of top 25 global biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Frank has always been a strong advocate of collaboration, working closely with client teams and harnessing their own experience which has delivered exceptional results for our customers and ensuring high levels of repeat engagements. Having previously gained extensive consulting experience through leading complex multifaceted programs, he now focusses on supporting clients identify and resolve key strategic business questions and helping our teams deliver the highest standards in solution design by providing insight to ensure practical and pragmatic recommendations. This leadership approach, has delivered real commercial success for both our clients and our business, but importantly, also ensures that our teams are always learning and developing new approaches to the market access challenges our clients face.
During his career, Frank has led a diverse mix of management, commercial and clinical consulting projects that have included organisational design, alliance and partnership evaluation, market evaluation, payer and pricing strategies and eHealth initiatives. Frank’s interests include the integration of regulatory strategy, evidence generation (including clinical studies, real world evidence, and patient centric and PRO data), and market access for optimal launch and commercial planning. He has developed a high level of expertise in early regulatory approval and its implications for HTA, market access, and pricing and reimbursement. He also focuses on the nuances of successful differentiation in tendering and contracting, supporting companies maintain price and position during the life-cycle.
Frank has a BSc (Hons) in Biology from St Andrews University and joined Valid insight in 2018 after 4 years at Parexel and 10 years with IQVIA.
Raf De Wilde
Senior Executive Advisor
Raf De Wilde is Senior Executive Advisor at Valid Insight. He is a global expert in life science market access, having over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and over 30 years in global market access.
Raf became the head of International Marketing Services within Janssen Pharmaceutica (a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) company) in 1991, introducing Health Economics at J&J that year. Raf was Chairman of EPhMRA Primary Research and Methods Committee (1993-1995). He became VP of EPhMRA in 1994 and 1997 and President in 1995 and 1998.
In 1997, he joined Peter Lauper’s team that pioneered the ‘biosimilars’ concept and the first patient access schemes. Raf led a specialist oncology, real-world evidence and virology group between 2002 and 2004, where he created a centre of excellence for oncology pricing and specialised in biologics while leading the HEOR function at CENTOCOR. Raf was VP of Market Access at J&J leading teams working on oncology, cardiovascular and biotech products from 2004 to 2010.
Raf joined United Biosource Corporation (UBC) as Associate VP in early 2011 and stayed with Evidera until 2015, prior to joining Valid Insight in 2016. In his consulting career he has led nearly 200 global market access projects, including value strategies, price finding research, patient access schemes, negotiation tactics, tendering and contracting, WHO classification and naming strategies. He has moderated over 150 training workshops in Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and Middle-East, and led the life sciences pricing training of the European Pricing Platform from 2011 to 2014.
Raf has university teaching positions on the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Medicine course of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, and at Grenoble Ecole de Management, a leading French graduate business school, where he teaches the market access module on the Advanced Master’s in Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Management programme.
BSc (Hons), PGCert Health Economics
Director – Value Communication
Carolyn has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, comprising 15 years with Allergan (now AbbVie) in their global HEOR group, 14 years in market access consultancy and 3 years working for a diagnostic company (Bruker Renshaw). With 25 years’ experience in HEOR and market access she has developed key value messages, value communication tools, HTA submissions and economic models for many most of the top global companies over the years.
In her career, Carolyn has worked on pharma product launches for products such as BOTOX and Lumigan while in industry, and in consulting has managed numerous projects working with large global pharmaceutical companies to smaller diagnostic manufacturers, delivering high quality value communication deliverables to support global market access across a wide range of therapy areas including; oncology, infectious diseases, neurology, ophthalmology, medical devices (insulin pumps, gastric bands), in-vitro Diagnostics (biomarker testing for cancer, molecular assays for infection), nutrition and immunology.
Carolyn has an honours degree in Biology from Strathclyde University and a postgraduate certificate in Health Economics from Aberdeen University.
Pedro is a Senior Consultant at Valid Insight. As part of his pharmacy training, Pedro has worked in a diverse selection of roles across translational research, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, distribution and sales, obtaining a holistic view of pharmaceutical supply chain.
He began his consulting career at IMS Health, providing commercial effectiveness solutions to pharmaceutical affiliates in Portugal. He then worked at Lifescience Dynamics and Amaris Consulting, leading global competitive intelligence, market research, market access and pricing projects. Pedro also held a secondment at Autolus as Insights and Analytics Manager.
His market access experience spans commercial strategy, pricing and positioning research, TPP and value message testing, literature review, epidemiology and market sizing, competitive assessment and tracking, interviewing and adboard moderation.
Pedro regularly presents at international conferences regarding rare disease and cell & gene therapy access challenges. He holds a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) from the University of Lisbon and a postgraduate degree in Economic Evaluation of Medicines from the Lisbon School of Economics and Management.
He is proficient in English and Portuguese, with good understanding of Spanish and French.
BSc, MRes, PhD
Stephen is a Consultant at Valid Insight. He began his career working as a postdoctoral researcher in Neuroscience, and worked for 2 years at Newcastle University, before working for 7 years as a Wellcome trust researcher at the University of York. Stephen’s work examined the underlying disease pathologies in a wide range of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and encephalopathies. He has published 8 research articles in high impact journals, has presented at numerous conferences and won several awards for his research.
More recently, Stephen worked as the Knowledge Exchange Associate at the NIHR Innovation Observatory, the UK’s national horizon scanning centre. Here he prepared documentation for health technology submissions to NICE, which initiate the technology appraisal process in the UK. He has also worked closely with the NICE topic selection group to communicate the in-depth details underpinning health technology assessments in the UK. This has involved leading online webinars and delivering presentations at a wide range of international conferences.
Stephen has a BSc in Pharmacology from Sunderland University, a MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences from Newcastle University and a PhD in Neuropharmacology from Newcastle University.
BA, MSc, DPhil
Laura is a Consultant at Valid Insight. Prior to joining she worked as a Research Officer at the University of Oxford and comes with ten years of experience of working in applied health research, particularly in the area of Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) measurement.
She is highly experienced in essential research techniques including systematic reviews, real-time surveys and secondary qualitative data analysis. Laura’s work in PRO design development and validation has been extensively published.
Laura has much experience of supporting pharmaceutical companies by designing and conducting qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods projects including experience of in-depth interviews, focus groups, cognitive interviews, plus desk-based research and working across multiple value communication projects, including payer value story creation for a range of products.
Her research experience covers a broad range of therapeutic areas including dermatology, diabetes, neurology, orthopaedics, women’s health, urology and epilepsy.
Laura has a DPhil in PROs and MSc in Applied Social Research.
Francesca Torelli is a consultant at Valid Insight.
Joining in 2020, Francesca has gained experience in value demonstration and market access strategy in a range of chronic diseases at Medtronic, working directly with stakeholders to understand their needs and developing targeted value propositions and communication materials. In addition, Francesca has been involved in evidence generation, collecting real world data and developing economic evidence (such as budget impact and cost-effectiveness analyses).
Francesca also worked as a Research Assistant in Health Economics at the University of Leeds and as a trainee in Global Market Access at Chiesi.
Francesca has presented her work on economic evaluation and PROs at several international conferences. She has an MSc in Economics and Economic Policy from the University of Bologna and a MPhil in Health economics and Management from the University of Oslo.
Esther Miralles Simó
Esther Miralles Simó is a Consultant at Valid Insight. Prior to joining Valid Insight, Esther worked at Karolinska Development, a venture capital organisation, where she was involved in a range of projects in the business development area, including pricing and reimbursement landscaping, market sizing and in competitive intelligence activities.
Before this Esther worked as an Analyst at Synergus AB where her experience included pricing and reimbursement analysis and strategy planning for pharmaceuticals, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics in European countries.
Esther has a MSc in Bioentrepreneurship from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and speaks Spanish, Catalan, English and Swedish.
Julen Zabala Mancebo
Julen is passionate about the pharmaceutical industry and loves being challenged by new projects. He has experience in pricing and market access strategy, value communications, and payer landscaping across various therapeutic areas, including orphan diseases, respiratory, oncology, and arthritis.
Julen supports the wider implementation of market access projects, engaging with key stakeholders and analysing market conditions to ensure successful market access. His experience spans a range of projects supporting global brands and local affiliates across all stages of strategy development, including market opportunity mapping, payer value research, evaluation of PRA potential, and the generation of value arguments and evidence.
Prior to joining Valid Insight, Julen held similar roles in established global consultancies. Julen holds a PhD in regenerative medicine from the University of Manchester. His background in biomedical engineering, in addition to the MSc in Health economics that he is currently pursuing, provides him with a strong analytical mind and deep technical knowledge.
Julen is a native Spanish speaker.
Rita Conceição is an Associate Consultant at Valid Insight. Prior to joining Valid Insight, Rita worked at GlaxoSmithKline in the PH Market Access and External Affairs department. Her role enabled her to be involved in a range of projects including pricing and reimbursement submissions, market dynamics activities, global value dossiers and stakeholder reports and communications.
Rita holds a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) from the University of Lisbon, with complementary courses in HTA and Pharmacoeconomics, and her Master thesis research project took place in Italy, at the University of Pisa.
As part of her pharmaceutical sciences training, Rita had multiple experiences across community pharmacy, immunology and pharmacology research, healthcare IT consulting and pharmaceutical industry, providing her with a broad exposure to the pharmaceutical environment.
Rita is proficient in Portuguese and English and has a good understanding of Spanish and Italian.
Maria Ana Almeida
Maria is an Associate Consultant at Valid Insight. She holds a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) from University of Lisbon with a final thesis on the use of Big data across the medicine´s lifecycle.
As part of her graduation Maria had a lot of different experiences dealing with areas such as clinical trials, immunology, pharmacology, information technologies and she did a supplementary course in Marketing for pharmacists. She has done some laboratory work and internships in community pharmacy in Portugal and in the UK.
Prior to joining Valid Insight, Maria worked in numerous digital brand launch projects, as a speaker on Big data and Data Sciences.
These experiences have equipped her with a broad scientific knowledge and key communication, project management, analytical, problem solving and team working skills.
Maria is a native Portuguese speaker and fluent in English.
DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology)
Paula is a Senior Consultant at Valid Insight.
Paula holds a Degree in Veterinary Medicine and a PhD in Comparative and Veterinary Medicine. She is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of Neurology. Paula worked for 10 years as a companion animal veterinarian, specialising in neurology and neurosurgery. During her veterinary career she was also involved in research and teaching. During this time, she presented her research at various veterinary meetings, published multiple papers in peer-reviewed veterinary and human medicine journals and acted as reviewer for several veterinary journals.
In 2016 she switched careers and became a Senior Medical Writer. She has worked at two award-winning, global Medical Communication and Advertising agencies and as a freelance Senior Medical Writer. Paula has been the Lead Medical Writer for a range of accounts at a national and global level for a variety of pharmaceutical drugs covering multiple therapy areas, including Dermatology, Rheumatology, Neurology, Vaccines, Respiratory, Rare Diseases or Veterinary Medicine, among others. Her work has covered Medical Advertising, Medical Education and publications. She has vast experience developing key value messages from scientific literature to produce story flows which are tailored to different audiences and convey messages effectively.
Paula is a native Spanish speaker and is proficient in English.
Giulia is an Associate Consultant at Valid Insight. Giulia graduated with a second-level master’s degree in International Healthcare Management, Economics, and Policy in 2021 at SDA Bocconi School of Management, after a first-level master’s degree in Pharmacy at the University of Parma.
She worked for seven years as a scientific researcher on prions and neurodegenerative diseases. She has substantial experience in Parkinson, Alzheimer, Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She worked both in Italy at Policlinic of Verona, at the NIT in Turin and in the US for the NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories.
During these years, she wrote papers and grant proposals, had speeches and poster presentations about her works during national and international meetings. She also worked as a Professor of “Methods for Scientific Research” and “Biomedical Imaging” at ICOM, Turin.
Before joining Valid Insight, she worked as a global market access analyst in consultancy, dealing primarily with foreign companies for Italian market access activities, value communications, and payer landscaping. She also performed a 3-months cost-benefit analysis on MEA (Managed Entry Agreements), focusing on off-label drugs with CERGAS, Bocconi and collaborated as a healthcare consultant for an innovative tech start-up.
These experiences have trained her with a solid scientific background in neuroscience, pharmaceutical chemistry, health economics and market access.
Giulia is proficient in Italian and English, with a good understanding of Spanish and French.
Bpharm. Grad.Dip.Sc(Pharm). MCom
Sue Caleo-Naeyaert is a senior international executive in the areas of Pricing, Market Access, Health Economics, Government Affairs and Policy who has lived and worked in Europe, Switzerland, Asia, and the United States with experience spanning 26 years. Sue began her career as a community pharmacist, but soon decided to further her studies and work experience at the University of Sydney specialising in the area of health economics.
In 1998, Sue was awarded a research fellowship by the EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment in Cancer) in the health economics of cancer, based in Brussels, Belgium. This was followed by her move into the pharmaceutical industry, where she worked in Australia for Janssen, and then at a Global level with J&J based back in Belgium for 5 years. In 2009, Sue moved with Merck Serono to Singapore to set up their Regional Pricing and Market Access department for Asia-Pacific. After 3 and 1/2 years, Merck asked her to move to Switzerland as Global Head Pricing and Market Access for their Biosimilars Unit. Here Sue expanded her role to include the Government Affairs and Policy areas, with a 14-month secondment to Washington DC. During 2017, Fresenius Kabi bought the Biosimilars Unit of Merck KGaA and Sue continued in her role as Global Head of Government affairs, Policy and Pharmacoeconomics.
Sue is now a Senior Advisor for Valid Insight whilst being a regular guest speaker at conferences across the globe, and having numerous peer-reviewed publications. She has a Bachelor of Pharmacy, a Graduate Diploma of Pharmacy (with a specialisation in health economics) and a Master of Commerce with an Advanced Specialisation in Business Economics and Statistics.
BSc, MSc, PhD
Alia Karaouni is Senior Advisor at Valid Insight. She is an experienced strategy consultant and foresight expert. Alia has a proven track record in decision support for senior pricing and market access management in the pharmaceutical industry. Her in-depth knowledge of biotech and pharma stems from 15 years of consultancy work, as well as work in the industry, on issues related to pricing strategy, market access, portfolio analysis, cost-benefit assessment, commercial planning and valuation, among others.
Alia has over 20 years’ experience helping clients tackle complex management decision-making in highly-uncertain, rapidly-changing environments, through issue framing, discussion facilitation and simulation-tool building. Alia was head of market access for three years ad interim at Onxeo, a Paris-based small biotech company with several orphan oncology drugs in development. Prior to this, she worked for the World Economic Forum in Geneva, as deputy head of scenario planning. Here she directed several year-long scenario projects exploring the future of industries and regions, with the outcomes made public at the annual Davos meeting. She has also worked as a management consultant in Brussels for IBM Business Consulting Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers, before setting up her own independent company, using her expertise in the field of systems thinking and business modelling to support business strategy and decision-making
Alia holds a PhD in Economics from MIT, a Master’s degree in Econometrics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Université de Montréal.
Carole Alison Chrvala
Carole Chrvala is Senior Advisor at Valid Insight. She has nearly 30 years’ experience as an epidemiologist and HEOR researcher. Her work spans collaborations with government health agencies, payers, academic institutions, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, medical education and communication organisations, and healthcare professional societies located in the US, UK, EU, and Israel. Carole is highly experienced in epidemiologic consulting, biostatistical support, strategic competitive analysis, medical intelligence, medical writing and publication planning services in diverse therapeutic areas including oncology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, neurologic disorders, pain, psychiatric disorders, rare diseases, respiratory disorders, rheumatologic disorders, and women’s health.
Carole has developed and validated risk prediction models for various chronic and infectious diseases, analysed health care resource utilisation and economic burden, determined projections for the global epidemiologic burden of diverse health conditions, developed prospective and retrospective research studies to examine the impact of clinical interventions and developed statistical analysis plans for retrospective and prospective case-control studies and randomised clinical trials.
Carole was director of Cancer Prevention and Control for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), before setting up her own independent company. She joined the US Food and Drug Administration as a Senior Scientist and later joined the National Academies of Science as a Senior Program Officer. She has written and presented on epidemiology, health economics and outcomes research, and diverse health topics to more than 75 professional audiences and organisations.
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