Last week, professionals in the CRO industry gathered at the Clinical Research & Operations Worldwide Networking (CROWN) Congress in Philadelphia, PA, to discuss some of the main issues and trends facing the market.
Martin Giblin, VP, Data Science, Safety and Regulatory Operations, Quintiles, opened the conference with a state of the industry address. “January is a good time to think about what’s coming ahead,” he said. Specifically, challenges to overcome in the year.
“It’s clear that being in the pharmaceutical industry is a hugely rewarding place to spend our time,” he said, after asking the audience “why do we do what we do?”
However, despite the rewards and progress made, Giblin explained that challenges still abound.
“It’s shocking to think children in Africa die in tens of thousands for want of malaria treatments,” he said. “We know we need to change.”
This change is needed because it costs too much and takes too long to bring new drugs to the market.
“We need to bring new ideas together,” Giblin added – but it’s complex problem, part of which stems from a lower level of productivity and therapies failing at Phase III, which is extremely expensive.
“If we are failing at Phase lll we aren’t advancing clinical development,” said Giblin.
Additionally, the burden on people running trials and sites is increasing, and it is becoming more of a challenge to find the right patients.
To overcome these challenges, Giblin explained: “We need to focus on the patient and build strategic partnerships.”
Moving forward as an industry
Part of moving forward as an industry will be using technology more efficiently as well as interpreting data, of which the industry has plenty.
“For all of us, becoming a data centric organization will be a huge part of the competence in the future,” said Giblin.
He also explained that the industry needs to look at global delivery.
“As pharma organizations we’re extremely global ... but we’ve got to make sure we can pull all that together in an execution strategy that’s affective,” he explained. “Using technology to do that will be important.”
Ultimately, for Giblin, giving hope to people has been an incredibly power aspect of working in the pharmaceutical industry.
“That’s what pushed me to get involved in this industry,” he said, before closing with a call to “work together to improve the chances of people having a better life based on the therapies we can bring to market.”