Hi Malena, how long have you been part of the Zeller journey?
My Zeller journey started at the beginning of March 2020.
What is your current role at Zeller?
I am responsible for international product management, which includes the support of our partners and potential partners and building the bridge from our home market Switzerland to existing and potential markets all over the world.
What drew you to Zeller originally? And how has Zeller changed since?
Before I started working at Zeller, I was a researcher at the University of Marburg. Part of my project was focused on the metabolic effects of the Zeller extract Ze 450. During this time, I enjoyed the collaboration with Zeller and appreciated the scientific exchange. I was therefore fortunate, that Yulia (now my boss) and I met at the EMAS congress in 2019. I started work as a business development manager at Zeller directly after finishing my PhD, just right before the first lockdown. I had expected that I would be travelling worldwide; meeting and exchanging information with our partners, but as we all know, that that was impossible in 2020. We took the situation as an opportunity and adapted our business model accordingly by, for example, organizing webinars with KOLs for HCPs in various export markets.
As the field continues to bring forward new, safe and efficacious plant-based medicines, from your perspective, what does the future of phytomedicine looks like?
As a pharmacist, I have a very scientific point of view on this topic. For me it is important to focus on the patients and their needs and offer safe and effective treatment options. There might be plenty of options available, but why not use a medicine following nature's example. Especially for plant-based medicines, it is important to control the entire value chain to guarantee the high quality, safety and efficacy of the final products. I see the future of phyto-pharmaceuticals as equal alternatives to synthetic drugs. Of course, to achieve this goal, it will be important to drive research and gain new insights into areas such as modes of action or the active ingredients of phyto-pharmaceuticals.
What has been your greatest achievement or highlight at Zeller?
As a part of the international team at Zeller, I am also part of a bigger journey to “zellerize” the world and make effective natural treatment options available for more patients. One of my personal highlights was to support actively our partner and help shape the successful product launch of both Cimidona forte and Tesalin in Israel.
How do you balance your career at Zeller with your personal life?
Nature also plays an important role in my personal life. I enjoy being outside going hiking or skiing and simply being active. Here, by the beautiful Lake Constance, the region offers plenty of possibilities, which I like to explore.
Whether during your daily work experiences, with partners, during travels etc. what has been the most hilarious moment for you at Zeller?
I would love to tell a hilarious story about something that happened while I was travelling or a funny story from the office, but the last year was atypical and dominated by digital communication. We probably all had several Zoom/WebEx/Teams failures or technical problems, so I do not want to focus on that topic.
Soon after my start at Zeller, I had the opportunity to make a webinar recording by myself. That meant that I was sitting alone in a room, in front of my computer with a headset on, trying to isolate every surrounding noise, smiling into the camera and then when everything was set up I started the recording. However, I did not begin once or twice; I started repeatedly to make sure that the video would be perfect. Finally, all went smoothly until almost the end of my presentation. I began to relax, feeling both relieved and satisfied. Unfortunately, I then began to speak so enthusiastically that I forgot to move forward to the next slide. Well, the whole procedure had to start yet again from the beginning…