Synexus brings high recruitment rate methods to new sites in Poland

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Synexus Clinical trial

Synexus is meeting the rising demand for its services, which it says can dramatically increase recruitment rates, by acquiring clinical trial sites in Poland and is hoping to expand in India soon.

Speaking to Outsourcing-Pharma Michael Fort, chief executive of Synexus, explained that the company’s approach can significantly increase recruitment rates and cuts costs.

Using rough figures based on current trials Synexus is involved in, Fort said that around 50 per cent of trial sites run by other companies have recruited one patient. The remaining non-Synexus sites have recruited six to ten patients.

In contrast Synexus has recruited 150 to 200 patients to its sites. This ability to increase recruitment has led to Synexus experiencing “tremendous growth​” of 45 per cent this year and 60 per cent last year, according to Fort.

He added that demand has shot up over the past three to four years and attributed this to numerous factors. One aspect is Synexus’ move into new markets, which has resulted in a “massive​” change in the business by enabling it to compete for international business.

Synexus now has sites in Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, South Africa and the UK and this gives it the platform to perform big global trials and reach decision makers in the US.

The company’s global clinical trial network now includes sites in Warsaw, Gdynia and Katowice in Poland, which it acquired from CLCC. These supplement Synexus’ existing site in Wroclaw, Poland and expand its presence in a country Fort described as a great place to do clinical trials.

Benefits of expansion

Acquiring the additional sites gives Synexus access to the large populations in the area. This is a fundamental aspect of Synexus’ recruitment model, which differs from the approach of contract research organisations (CROs) and in-house pharma teams.

Fort explained that most clinical trial sites use general practitioners (GP) patient lists to recruit or find people through patient organisations. Synexus also uses these methods but supplements them with a more proactive approach that uses advertising and marketing initiatives.

By acquiring the sites in Poland Synexus can reach a larger number of potential clinical trial participants and improve the service it offers to pharmas and CROs. The ability to recruit large number of patients also helps companies achieve economies of scale, according to Fort.

This is particularly pronounced in long term outcome studies, such as a five to seven year type II diabetes trial, because the high concentration of patients helps cut monitoring costs.

Future expansion targets

Synexus is constantly looking for new expansion opportunities, according to Fort. The immediate focus is on two sites in India, which Fort hopes to acquire in the next six months, but Synexus is also looking for opportunities in East Germany, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine.

However, Fort added that the process of finding suitable sites is more challenging for Synexus because its recruitment model means it does not buy GP clinics, which make up the vast majority of potential trial sites.

Synexus believes its approach is worthwhile though and expansion is important, not just to reach large populations but also to allow it to run trials in different therapeutic fields.

Fort explained that it is hard to recruit for an arthritis trial in the UK because sufferers already receive good care but the situation is different in Poland. This, coupled to the large patient populations, is the driver for expansion at Synexus.

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