The trial recruitment specialist’s methods differ from many pharmas and contract research organisations (CRO), with the focus of the rotavirus study being on outreach campaigns.
By launching these campaigns Synexus was able to target people that lack access to regular healthcare or information about clinical trials. Furthermore, the use of satellite clinics at community hospitals opened up the trial to people who are unable to travel to the main sites.
These actions resulted in Synexus recruiting more than 2,000 of the 3,167 children, aged between five and 10 weeks, who participated in the trial in South Africa.
Synexus has been operating in South Africa for several years, acquiring CRC SA in 2006 and starting building a further two sites last year, and it believes this experience and local knowledge helped its recruitment efforts.
In addition Synexus has experience recruiting for late stage paediatric vaccine trials in South Africa. Michael Fort, CEO of Synexus, added: “Feedback from pharma, CRO and NGO (non-governmental organisation) clients indicates that our model works particularly well for late stage vaccine trials.”
This specialism should help Synexus in coming years as pharma bolsters its presence in the vaccine sector, which is enjoying a resurgence of interest after being neglected because of low margins.
CRO Encorium has latched onto this development and refocused its operations on vaccine trials. By occupying this potentially high growth niche it believes it can gain a competitive advantage over larger CROs which have an established global presence and substantially greater resources.