The CRO Forum is open to all CROs and expected to begin operating in January 2015.
John Lewis, SVP of ACRO, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com, “Over the next few weeks, ACRO and TransCelerate will discuss which specific projects (workstreams) are most appropriate for CRO input. RBM [risk-based monitoring] is an obvious one, but the TransCelerate agenda keeps evolving and new projects are being added regularly. And there are some TransCelerate projects where CRO input would not be needed.”
The CRO Forum will provide subject matter experts from participating CROs as liaisons to relevant TransCelerate workstreams. Forum representatives shall be kept apprised of workstream developments and furnish a CRO perspective on projects.
According to the Forum’s charter, “The Forum and TransCelerate will each identify a liaison to communicate in any of a variety of ways, (such as teleconferences, sharing of documents, and other interactions, including in-person meetings,) as may be useful and necessary to keep both organizations informed about the other’s activities and positions on significant workstream matters. The Forum may also propose new workstreams to TransCelerate.”
The Forum’s creation comes as TransCelerate previously announced that it would not allow CROs to become members of the industry group. However, CEO of TransCelerate, Dalvir Gill, noted at the DIA conference in June that CROs often have “far more efficient processes” than sponsors. TransCelerate also previously recognized training programs from CROs Synteract and Icon.
Ciaran Murray, ACRO Chairman and CEO of Icon, added: “We have maintained a cordial but informal relationship with TransCelerate since its formation in late 2012. As CROs in general, and ACRO members in particular, are often at the forefront of implementing the innovations advanced by TransCelerate’s members, we believe the time is right for more direct interaction. We will be reaching out to the broader CRO community to gauge interest in participating in the Forum.”
The CRO Forum’s charter may be accessed online and interested CROs may contact ACRO by email at CROForum@acrohealth.org or by phone.
“We are pleased to work with ACRO and the CRO Forum to provide key stakeholder input into our ongoing and future projects,” said Jonathan Zung, PhD, Vice President and Head Global Clinical Sciences and Operations, UCB and Operations Committee Chair for TransCelerate. “We look forward to open dialogue as we shape industry-wide solutions. Beyond the regular interactions between TransCelerate member companies and their CRO partners, the CRO Forum will serve as TransCelerate’s primary method of interaction with the wider CRO industry.”