If you happen to find yourself down Flinders Lane on a weekday, it’s worth taking a peek at building 141 – the Pawson House – an art deco, rag trade workshop built in 1935. If you’re lucky, you may spot George Vlachos, Pharmaceutical Executive at Akesa Pharma, coming in and out of the curious building. George enjoys a hectic and exciting role as Director of Clinical Trials Supply at Akesa Pharma, located novelly in the Pawson House. There, the company Akesa internationally specialises in the procurement and sourcing of pharmaceutical products, established to bridge the divide between demand and access for clinical trial medicines.
Over four years ago before Akesa was founded, George was already involved in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Australia, equipped with a varied experiential background including work at Eli Lilly, PPD, Quintiles and EBOS. As a springboard into the industry, George studied a Bachelor of Science at Monash University, where he fittingly majored in pharmacology and genetics. With a keen interest in pharmacology, George was keen to get out of the lab and into clinical trials management. “I wanted to get into the pharmaceutical industry” commented George, “I enjoyed science but not the lab”. It was after his graduation that he took up his first job at The Australian Red Cross Blood Service, working as senior medical lab technician. From there it didn’t take long for his skills to increase and industry position to rise, allowing him to make the move from senior lab technician, to clinical project manager and most recently pharmaceutical executive
Upon entering the lobby of the Pawson House, you can find everything in striking shape. Including the terrazzo flooring and one of the only functional lift cars in Melbourne – in which you take up to Akesa’s Head Office on the top floor. And much like the Pawson house, Akesa is a hidden gem within Melbourne CBD. Retaining its humble beginnings in Victoria, Akesa Pharma can now boast itself as a global company. Since its establishment four years ago Akesa has grown faster than George ever anticipated, this is a pure reflection on the successful service delivery by Akesa and its experienced team.
The niche that Akesa filled proved to be bigger than George and everyone else at the company anticipated, and has clearly highlighted the need for Akesa’s services both in Australia and the APAC region. Making room for Akesa’s popularity, George now finds his role to be more dynamic than ever. Most of his days involve project managing, communicating with pharmaceutical manufacturers and introducing the clinical trial industry to Akesa. “My role in the company as director of clinical trial supply is firstly to understand the customer’s clinical trial project and their supply requirements and find the best solution for sourcing the products that they need – it is a complete project management service”
When sitting down with George, there is no denying his eminent level of investment and passion in the company, regularly going above and beyond the call of duty. Yet despite the demanding pressures of his job, George still takes timeout to enjoy himself with his family and friends, discovering new travel destinations with his wife and exploring Melbourne’s many bars and restaurants. At home George is also bilingual, where he grew up speaking Greek with his family. When given the opportunity to travel to Greece, he enjoys stretching his bilingual muscles.
Rushing in 2018, George celebrated New Year’s at the Pawson house with his family and the Akesa team, welcoming in an exciting and challenging year ahead. In March, George be celebrated his second year with Akesa and looks forward to an ever-increasing role within the flourishing company on Flinders Lane.