Roundup of new CRO tech, research collaborations and more

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Roundup of new CRO tech, research collaborations and more

Related tags Clinical trial management Clinical trial

The 51st annual DIA conference in Washington, DC has been abuzz all week with new offerings from the top CROs (contract research organizations), in addition to new collaborations between top sponsors and academic institutions. Here’s a rundown of the latest:

PRA Health Sciences

CRO PRA launched its new Predictivv platform to help sponsors design, plan and optimize the management of trials. The platform allows for the proactive identification of process and protocol deviations and will enable sponsors to make corrections before risks occur.

Among the first applications that will be available in the platform is a configurable solution that provides real-time insights into every phase of clinical trial management, allowing clients and other stakeholders to connect and use data within their studies. PRA also expects to launch several new applications that focus on clinical trial management, including site selection, patient recruitment and investigator engagement. 


The world’s largest CRO has launched a mobile app – available for download in the Apple app store -- that will allow sponsors and other stakeholders in the drug development process to access site start-up, recruitment and compliance information, as well as updates on data queries and project milestones.

Quintiles also added advanced statistical monitoring and predictive analytics capabilities to its risk-based monitoring (RBM) tool. The company is now engaged in more than 130 studies using RBM processes and policies, across more than 26,000 sites and 260,000 patients.


The global CRO has launched its Firecrest Patient Portal, which enables patients to view clinical trial information and is specifically designed to enhance the patients understanding of treatment before consenting to participate at an investigator site. 

The portal is a part of the company’s new informatics hub designed to enhance the engagement of patient populations in the development process. Patients using the portal can find active trials, complete pre-screening questionnaires and select a study location. As the portal is integrated with Icon’s investigator portal, investigators will be able to engage directly with patients that have shown interest, schedule visits, and examine live analytics about the materials reviewed by a patient.


The full-service CRO has opened a new office in San Bruno, California that will house the company’s West Coast operations. The site will offer a range of clinical services to clients developing therapies in all areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices.

ClinTec International

The company has opened a new regional office for Sub-Saharan Africa, with premises in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The office will support region-wide clinical research services including a significant new clinical FSP (full-service provider) assignment with a global biotechnology company.


The pharmaceutical company announced a three-year research collaboration with the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) to investigate new therapeutic approaches to Type 2 diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The aim of the collaboration is to advance understanding of the biological mechanisms that underpin these conditions and develop new treatments based on this knowledge.

Under the terms of the collaboration, each project will comprise a joint team of investigators that will work across Inserm sites in Toulouse and Paris, and AstraZeneca’s research hub in Mölndal, Sweden. The collaboration will focus on three areas: Mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activity as a route to treating CKD, enhancing tissue sensitivity to insulin, and exploring the loss of insulin production.

AstraZeneca also concurrently announced a two-year research collaboration with the University of Michigan to advance the treatment of CKD through the improved understanding of the disease. The collaboration will tackle the identification of novel targets for the treatment of CKD, focusing on the use of patient tissue and validation of preclinical models.  

Related topics Clinical Development

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