After watching a TEDMED Talk on Novocure’s cancer therapy by Executive Chairman Bill Doyle, Leszek Bialecki wanted to be a part of Novocure.
Leszek, Novocure’s Senior Director of Global Clinical Operations, joined in 2017 with the role of leading clinical operations as a department and to prepare for growth of the clinical program. Clinical operations is responsible for the management of clinical trials.
“We knew that the growing pipeline will require changes in the way we work, increase the size of the team, and expand geographically,” said Leszek, who works at Novocure’s Root, Switzerland, office.
At the time, Novocure had recently begun its phase 3 pivotal trials in brain metastases and non-small cell lung cancer, was planning a phase 3 pivotal trial in pancreatic cancer and was wrapping up its registrational trial in mesothelioma. Novocure was becoming bigger than GBM.
Leszek took the knowledge from his nearly 20-year career working for large pharmaceutical companies and applied it to Novocure, mapping out the journey for his team. Over the last several years, his team grew from nine employees to more than 40. Leszek said it isn’t as simple as hiring people with specific qualifications for the role—it takes a certain type of person who will succeed as an individual and in turn contribute to the success of the organization.
“We need a specific type of talent that will fit Novocure’s culture,” he said. “This is our strength. This is what makes us go. We hire people driven by ideas and by purpose. This is something that we live by.”
Novocure has also established external partnerships to facilitate clinical trial enrollment and execution and continued to expand the pipeline. In 2019, Novocure partnered with the European Network for Gynaecological Oncological Trial groups (ENGOT) and the GOG Foundation, Inc. to run its phase 3 pivotal trial in ovarian cancer, INNOVATE-3. In 2019, Novocure collaborated with Zai Lab to begin a phase 2 pilot trial of Tumor Treating Fields in gastric cancer in Greater China.
Today, with four phase 3 pivotal trials and two phase 2 pilot trials under way, Leszek said Novocure’s Clinical Operations team continues to adapt and change every day to prepare for the future.
“Almost every day, we do something unique,” he said.
Leszek said he has felt the support of Novocure’s management team from day one in his effort to grow the company’s clinical operations. He has also recognized the role of each individual on his team.
“I am extremely proud of my team—each and every one of them,” he said. “I know how much they put into their work and I love that about them.”