We performed an interview with Tuğba Koç who is General Manager and Board Member of Onko Pharmaceuticals. And talked about R&D center, investments of the company also the importance of technology in medical science.
Can you tell us about yourself and your professional background?
I was born in İstanbul. In 2004, I completed my graduate studies in Miami University’s as an honor student majoring in Industrial Engineering and minoring in Mathematics. I continued at the same university as a post-graduate student and completed my Industrial Engineering and Business Administration master’s degrees in 2005. I started my professional life in the US as a consultant for three different companies and three different projects in 2006. I did an internship in Marketing and Manufacturing departments of an international company. In 2008, I joined Onko Koçsel Pharmaceutical’s Board of Directors. Since 2008, I am acting as the company’s General Manager for Marketing, Sales, and Production. I am also a member of TÜSİAD (Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association), DEİK (Foreign Economic Relations Board), Kocaeli Female Entrepreneurs Association and Pembe İzler Society. I have been elected as the Chairwoman of Kocaeli Chamber of Industry Professional Committee in April 2018. I am also working in Medical and Agricultural Chemicals Group Committee.
Which medical areas do you focus on for your scientific researches and productions?
We are producing oncologic, sterile liquids, non-sterile solids and non-oncologic non-sterile liquids in our facilities. We are an experienced company in a rather special and narrow field. Consequently, our priority is to contribute to human health and then to present diagnosis and treatment options to our community and our country and then to the world, especially in oncology, hematology, radiology and rheumatology.
Today, we have the license to 89 drugs, 36 of which are our own production, with our wide portfolio including products obtained from plasma, contrast materials used in Cat Scan and magnetic resonance, oncology and oncology supportive products and tumor profiling service, and rheumatology. Our goal is to increase this number to 200 within the next 3 years. Our main
goal of course if to put these newly developed products on the market as soon as possible.
What are the investments you make in R&D as Onko Pharmaceuticals? What can you tell us about the Onko Isolation Technology you use in your R&D center?
Onko Pharmaceuticals R&D Center was approved by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology in September 2015 and is currently active as the first oncologic R&D center that can carry out production with GMP license.
Most of our facilities, including our R&D center use European equipment. In fact, almost all of our equipment are supplied from worldwide renown German machine manufacturers. Additionally, our R&D center have Analytic Development Laboratory, Formulation Development Laboratory, Pilot Production and Stability areas and is equipped with almost 200 machines,
devices and equipment with cutting edge technology. On the contrary to the likes of it, Onko Pharmaceuticals have a Pilot Production and Laboratory area designed in accordance with the production flow. Onko Pharmaceuticals have the biggest and most well-equipped R&D center in oncology as a first in Turkish Pharmaceutical Industry.
The machines we use in the production of oncology drugs are designed according to one of the highest Occupational Exposure Level (OEL) 4/5. We are the first and the only factory in Turkey that works with high-tech equipment and machines with containment, ensuring complete protection of the environment and our employees in R&D lines and laboratories.
The international market is rapidly growing in our main area of activity; oncology.
Can you tell us about the precautions you take to protect environment and human health during production and the social responsibility projects you organize?
With the high-technology machines and equipment with isolation and containment features we use in oncology drugs production, we ensure that employees have zero contact with toxic materials and products while also ensuring that these toxic materials harm the environment. These machines are located in custom designed production areas. As a secondary precaution,
waste air collected from these production areas are filtered through special filters (HEPA) before exiting the chimneys. This way, we can facilitate high-technology to produce our products without harming our employees or the environment.
As Onko Pharmaceuticals, we are providing an important economic gain with the current deficit in our country by carrying the sectoral knowhow and experiences we have to other countries through our global vision and projects while making the high-quality cancer drugs in international markets more accessible. This way, we will be ever proud of the works we do by knowing that we are contributing to enhance the life qualities and even the lifespans of many cancer patients.