Canadian CRO leverages site relationships to target early-phase US biotech trials

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Canadian CRO leverages site relationships to target early-phase US biotech trials

Related tags Recruitment Clinical trial Bric

Canada’s only oncology-focused CRO Scimega has created a program that allows it to align more closely with investigative sites across nine provinces.  

The Reverse Feasibility Program, which comes as CROs increasingly look to leverage site relationships​ to enroll more patients and speed trials, has established relationships between Scimega and over 70 investigator sites in the provinces, allowing the CRO to recruit patients earlier mostly for Phase I and II oncology trials. 

In one particular recent case for an unnamed US biotech company, Scimega said it identified nine qualified sites that ended up recruiting more than twice as many patients per site than 33 European sites spread across seven regions. The increases in recruitment were driven largely by the company’s privileged site relationships, knowledge of the region, and its ability to speed up contract negotiations through the use of a Master CTA (clinical trial agreement) template that the sites are used to. 

Roberto Lara, director of business development for Scimega, told that the company provides the sites with protocols earlier in the development process, which helps them to decide whether they might be interested or eligible to enrol patients in a trial. 

Twice a year the company polls Canadian investigators to find out what trials they need or are interested in, and then that information is shared with US oncology sponsors looking to expand their studies. 

Neither the sites nor Scimega pays for the privileged relationships, Lara added, noting that it’s a collaborative effort between both parties to find the right trials and match them with the appropriate sites. 

Lara added that the program was created because “one of the issues we were facing was a lot of clinical programs destined for Canada were being sent to BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] nations​. 

The primary interest of Canadian investigators is the science and validity of the protocol​,” he added. The sites are given the opportunity to recruit patients, and to publish their results, both of which can help them gain more notoriety.

Related topics Clinical Development

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