Each year, clinical research professionals come together around the globe to celebrate Clinical Trials Day on May 20. This year is no different—Outsourcing-Pharma checked in on various organizations to see what they are thinking, feeling, and doing on the occasion.
Phoebe Kitscha, research advisor with the British Heart Foundation, recently weighed in on the industry occasion with a blog outlining the BHF’s support of trials, challenges, and what lies ahead:
The BHF continues to fund clinical studies across a broad range of heart and circulatory conditions, and their risk factors, and currently supports 49 clinical trials across the UK, worth around £37m. This Clinical Trials Day, we give our thanks to our supporters, research community, and all the patient volunteers taking part in these studies, who this would not be possible without.
The progress of many BHF-funded clinical studies has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research community has risen to these challenges and adopted new and innovative methods of delivering clinical research – from methods for recruiting participants into trials ‘remotely’, to finding better ways to harness information from electronic health records.
The BHF has made it a priority to, where possible, support the clinical research we are currently funding to a successful conclusion, including extending study timelines where appropriate.
Progress and pride
Matt Walz, CEO of Trialbee, told Outsourcing-Pharma that despite facing formidable obstacles, clinical researchers have a lot to be proud of:
This year’s International Clinical Trials Day should be particularly noteworthy, as recent events have pushed clinical research into the spotlight like never before. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen CROs, sponsors, and companies step up to not only accelerate clinical research results but also improve the trial experience for patients and tackle decades-long barriers that have previously hindered trial success. This year, I believe that we should recognize a few factors that have contributed to this progress and keep them top of mind going forward.
First, let us all take this opportunity to recognize our critical frontline healthcare workers, who have cared for us through this awful pandemic, and paved the way for clinical trials to bring COVID vaccines to their patients. Their bravery and perseverance through difficult and confusing times have been an inspiration to us all.
Second, I believe that clinical researchers should take a moment to recognize their own contributions to the changing landscape of clinical trial innovation and technologies while continuing to serve their primary responsibility of conducting clinical research for new therapies. By leveraging resources such as decentralized technology and real-world data, we’ve been enabled with the ability to create safer experiences for trial participants, increase transparency with them, and keep clinical trials on track with time and budgeting. This has positively impacted the way many communities view clinical research work and these improvements should not go unnoticed.
Finally, let us recognize and express our gratitude to the people across the globe who have demonstrated an interest in becoming study participants in clinical trials, sacrificed their time, and offered their biology to help improve global health. There are life-saving drugs currently available on the market, and more to come in the future, that wouldn’t be possible without these brave individuals.
On the official May 20 observance of Clinical Trials Day, the University of Chicago’s Biological Sciences Division's Office of Clinical Research, Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago (UChicago) are joining on a special webinar, Innovation through Academic-Industry Partnerships in Clinical Trials. Taking place at 12 pm CST, the one-hour event will feature a number of speakers:
- Krishna Balakrishnan, deputy director, office of strategic alliances, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
- Ellen Bolotin, executive medical director, global development leader, AbbVie
- Hedy Kindler, professor of medicine, UChicago
- Olatoyosi Odenike, professor of medicine, UChicago
- David Rubin, Joseph B Kirsner Professor of Medicine, UChicago
- Sonali Smith, Elwood V. Jensen Professor of Medicine, UChicago
- Julian Solway, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, dean for translational research
“Clinical trials are the engine through which we translate innovative ideas to patient care reality,” said Walter Stadler, Fred C. Buffett Professor of Medicine and dean for clinical research at the University of Chicago, who is moderating the panel discussion. “They are the lifeblood of an academic health system.”
Find resources and more information for Clinical Trials Day on the Association of Clinical Research Professionals website.