Survey: Covance Leads the Pack in Investigators’ Central Labs Favourites

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Central labs Contract research organization Clinical trial

Covance a winner it investigator survey
Covance a winner it investigator survey
The latest survey of clinical trial investigators found almost half most prefer to work with Covance’s central laboratories while nearly a quarter said they preferred Quintiles.

The survey, conducted last month by the Life Science Strategy Group included 258 physicians actively participating in clinical trials, also found that respondents most frequently used the central labs of Covance, Quintiles, PPD, Quest Diagnostics and Icon, respectively.

The big takeaway was to show that when investigators are happy with central labs, they’re happy with the sponsor​,” LSSG founder and study author Jon Meyer told

Covance also led the field with 40% of respondents saying they have the easiest kit ordering, most timely kit resupply and easiest to use laboratory collection kits.

PPD led the list of central labs providers least preferred, with 15% of respondents, followed by 14% saying they least preferred Eurofins/Medinet.

My interpretation of that is that PPD tended to have more polar responses and respondents equate it to them being a more domestic CRO​,” LSSG founder and study author Jon Meyer told us. “They’ve had some hiccups in the last few years when they’ve gone to the global scale​.”

He added that the survey mirrored a similar one conducted two years prior. The reason for the latest survey was that subscribers requested an update, Meyer said.

In other aspects, the survey found that email updates from CROs was the number one source used to obtain information about clinical trials, with 40%, which was followed by clinical trial websites and then email updates from pharmaceutical sponsors.

Breakdown of CROs

The survey also broke down the pros and cons of using the major central labs from Covance, Quintiles, PPD, Quest and Icon.

Investigators reported favourably on Covance’s reliability, turnarounds, easy-to-use kits, but also complained of delays in getting results. Quintiles saw almost identical feedback, though their kits were described as “not user-friendly​” and “poorly organized​.”

PPD was commended for its reliability, but complaints surrounded its difficult-to-use lab kits and the complexity of its requisition form. Icon received similar complaints and was praised for its responsiveness, while Quest was commended for being efficient but chided for the usage of its couriers and how their use “often results in instability​.”

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