“Velos on-demand” launched to help CROs cut spending

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clinical trial, Clinical research, Pharmaceutical industry

US software company Velos hopes its new “software as a service” (SaaS) internet offering will attract CROs and Pharma firms seeking low-cost trial management solutions.

The “Velos on-demand​” service is designed to help trial customers cut capital expenditure by giving researchers access to specific parts of the firm’s eResearch platform on-line as and when it is required.

This means that customers need only pay for the parts of the service they actually use on a subscription basis, rather than making an upfront payment for the total suite of software. Velos will also provide support services and appropriate training.

John McIlwain, Velos CEO explained that while the SaaS eResearch model has been on the market for some time, its use has been limited to larger clinical research organisations (CRO) and trial centers.

He added that the new roll out makes “Velos on demand” available to a much wider range of potential customers, including smaller clinical trial groups, biotech companies and even individual trial investigators.

Henry Pollack, of New York University’s pediatrics department, has already used the service to manage trials conducted in both North and South America and has been impressed with the results.

Dr Pollack said that: "Within two weeks we had our forms up​," explaining that "with another system, it would have been months. I also credit the commitment of my staff as one of the elements that contributed to that speed​."

EDC could save $15 a year

Pharma and biotech industry demand for on-line services like Velos’ is being driven by two factors; cost and geography. Increasingly clinical trials are being conducted at multiple sites rendering traditional local management models in effective.

The knock on effect of this is that trials are becoming more costly to conduct. As a result any management system that helps cut costs is likely to be attractive to the pharma industry, particularly one that is battling to reduce spending in the downturn.

Further evidence of the move towards on-line trial management was provided by a February survey by US sector analysts CenterWatch in which more than 2,000 trial sites worldwide called for greater use of electronic data capture (EDC).

This finding also fits with a 2008 Datamonitor survey, which showed that EDC and electronic trials management systems could save life science and pharmaceutical firms up to $15m (€11.8m) a year.

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