Vx Pharma’s study coordinators are clinically trained nurses registered with the South African Nursing Council (SANC). They are committed to high professional standards and keeping abreast of Good Clinical Practice (GCP). In caring for their clinical trial patients, they take pleasure in harmonising their insight into the complexity of diseases with compassion for the task at hand. Currently Vx Pharma employs 3 fulltime study coordinators:
Ms Queen Thaba (RN) (Enrolled Nurse.S.G Lourens nursing School, ICU Specialst nurse. Wilgers Life College)
Ms. Thaba is a qualified and enrolled nurse who gained extensive ICU experience during her employment at Life Wilgers Hospital. After that, she joined Vermaak & Partners, an independent clinical pathology service, where she worked as a phlebotomy expert. In the last 3 years, Ms. Thaba has concentrated on a career in clinical research.
Ms Innocent Shibambo (Registered Nurse. Ga-rankuwa Academic Hospital. IMM Diploma, Damlin. Bussiness Administration Diploma. De Montfort University, SA)
Ms Shibambo is a qualified and registered nurse and midwife who started her career as a Pharmaceutical Representative at Infacare in 1990. She then completed an IMM marketing diploma with Global college and went on to complete a Business Administration qualification with De Montford University. The knowledge and experience that she acquired during the years marketing and selling pharmaceutical products to various medical professionals assisted greatly when she later ventured into clinical trials in 2004. She now has worked in clinical trials for more than 10 years as an SSC and for the last 5 years played the role as Site Manager for a very successful site of South Africa’s largest research site business.
Ms Elisabeth van Schalkwyk (BA Honours in Psychology, UNISA)
Ms. Van Schalkwyk’s academic and professional achievements are numerous. Specialising in psychology counselling, she passed her BA degree in Health Sciences and Social Services with distinction. Not only did she obtain a Postsecondary Diploma in Medical Technology, but she proceeded to gain hands-on experience in that particular discipline, before advancing her career and becoming a trauma counsellor. To conclude, Elisabeth prides herself on ten years of clinical trial experience.
Vx Pharma has unprecedented access to a network of investigators through our exclusive affiliation with The Intercare Hospital Group, a world-class facility providing healthcare to over 600,000 patients per annum. We value the symbiotic quality of our relationships with clinical trial investigators: through their crucial contributions to our research studies, they gain the advantage of medical progress by being at the cutting edge of new medical therapies that improve the health of people around the world. Their knowledge of new medical therapies also means they are able to provide new treatments for their patients.
Our current network of principal investigators consists of paediatricians, surgeons, cardiologists, physicians and various general practitioners. We, therefore, have the ability to engage with appropriate specialists for each clinical trial project. Moreover, our Medical Director, Dr. Paul Abrahams, heads up the entire clinical team and acts as a sub-investigator on all clinical studies.
Dr. Abrahams has seventeen years clinical trial experience, including an international stint in a phase 1 unit in the UK. He has been a principal investigator and sub-investigator on numerous phase 3 and 4 studies in South Africa.
Our other study investigators are:
Dr. A Stapelberg
Awarded BSc (Botany and Zoology) and BSc Honours (Zoology) degrees from University of Potchefstroom as well as an MB ChB degree from University of Pretoria. Dr Stapelberg practices as a GP and has seven years clinical trial experience.
Dr. Coert Gobbelaar
Dr Grobbelaar is a qualified Medical Practitioner and obtained his MBChB from the University of Pretoria. He completed his Internship and Community Service in Cape Town after which he worked in Primary Health Care. Subsequently he moved to Australia where he worked in the fields of Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics and General Surgery. On return to South Africa, he practiced as a locum General Practitioner at a large group practice in Pretoria and joined Vx Pharma in 2014. Dr Grobbelaar has a special interest in HIV and Sexual Health, particularly within the discipline of Clinical Research. He has completed numerous specialist training courses in this area of interest.
Awarded an MB ChB degree from University of Pretoria and a Diploma in Sedation and Pain Management from University of Western Cape. Dr van Zyl practices as a GP and has seven years clinical trial experience.
Ms Georgina Pretorius (B.Pharma, M.Sc Med in Pharmacy)Responsible Pharmacist
Georgina is a registered Pharmacist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Pharmacy. She started her career as a junior pharmacist at Eugene Marais Hospital and was promoted a few years later to senior and clinical pharmacist. Whilst in the role as clinical pharmacist she developed an interest in management and implemented several novel innovations including pharmacist ward-rounds, antibiotic stewardship and staff training. Georgina joined Vx Pharma in October 2015 to expand her career into clinical research and management.
While permanent, professionally-trained staff at our dedicated trial sites are continuously improving their skills and bringing valuable insights to medical innovation, Vx Pharma also works with contract staff, allowing us to scale up or down according to industry demand, thus minimising overhead costs and keeping pricing highly competitive without compromising on quality of delivery.
As per the standard of care for clinical trial conduct and to safeguard research participants, Vx Pharma has formed an association with ER 24, a private emergency response and pre-hospital care service that is always located on-site at critical times during a study. In the event of a medical crisis, patients will be transported no further than 5 km to a trauma unit at Life Wilgers Hospital. Also, our medically trained staff has access to a fully-equipped emergency resuscitation station that is maintained at all times according to standard operating procedures.