A survey by Worldwide Clinical Trials shows that 62% of pharmaceutical and biotech researchers are more likely to use a clinical research organisation now than they would have been five years ago. The survey shows exactly how much drug and biotech development relies upon the expertise of a well-run CRO, and that choosing the right CRO for their research is crucial to a biotech company’s success.
What biotechs are looking for
According to the survey, biotech respondents are most interested in a clinical research organization that can deliver high quality data, with efficiency running a close second. Remaining within budget was also an important consideration, particularly since survey respondents listed cost as the greatest development barrier. Respondents were also interested in CROs that could deliver innovations in overall trial management, patient recruitment and retention. There are companies out there like richmond pharmacology who run TQT Studies to help with medical research into things like cardiac problems with intensive ECG surveys.
The data indicates that if companies find a good CRO, they can dramatically improve their research outcomes. According to the nonprofit Association of Clinical Research Organizations, clinical trials completed with the help of high-quality CROs are completed up to 30% more quickly than those handled entirely in-house, resulting in a trial that is four to five months shorter–a savings of up to $120 to $150 million. A study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development also showed that outsourced trials had higher screen failure rates. This is critical for patient retention; a study by Applied Clinical Trials showed a strong correlation between screen failure and patient retention.
What makes a CRO great?
The Tufts survey explained that the most important indicator of CRO success is their communication with the biotech company. The most successful trials used a jointly designed scorecard so the company and the CRO could monitor one another continually and adjust their operations as needed. Many CROs, include communication as a cornerstone of their clinical management plan to reflect this. Cost and experience are also critical, although it’s important to remember that skimping on cost can sometimes lead to a decline in quality.
Additionally, in some cases a biotech company must simply trust their gut instinct about whether a particular CRO will fit the feel of the trial. All the experience in the world is no good if you can barely have a civil conversation with a CRO member.