Ability to hit deadlines, not cost, top CRO quality, survey finds

By Antoine Durivaux

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Contract research organisation, Clinical trial, Contract research organization

19 out of 21 pharmaceutical companies surveyed by Cutting Edge Information ranked a contract research organisation’s ability to hit trial deadlines as either “extremely important” or very “important,” making it the top quality identified by respondents.

Jeremy Spivey, research analyst at Cutting Edge and author of the report, told Outsourcing-Pharma that he had noticed a large number of cancellations and deferments in recent weeks, but that drugmakers were not reporting a net fall in contract research organisation (CRO) deals.

CROs bring things to the table in terms of breadth of experience and the personnel management of clinical trials​,” he said.

The report, titled: “Clinical Outsourcing Strategy: Selecting Partners and Managing Relationships” finds that failing to meet clinical trial deadlines is often unavoidable at some stage in the drug development process.

However, “having the ability to gauge how trial protocols will manifest in real life enables CROs to help sponsors plan better trials and budget based on real-world projections,” ​Spivey writes.

It is this capacity that the new report’s author argues, will tend to count more to a sponsor than tendering the lowest bid.

Spivey also gave Outsourcing-Pharma details of the survey’s participants:

-Six were large, global pharmaceutical or biotech companies with multiple approved products and earnings of over $10bn dollars;

-Five were medium-size companies with at least one approved product and earnings of over $1bn;

-Five participants were small pharmaceutical companies without an approved product on the market;

Additionally we spoke with two consultants,”​ Spivey said. “One was an expert in patient recruitment and had assisted multiple top pharmaceutical companies in designing protocols to maximize recruitment.

Another specialised in helping smaller pharmaceutical companies manage their contracting and relationships with CROs. Each of our interviewees had experience working with large, multinational CROs as well as niche providers.”

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