Making Metric Collection Obligatory in Clinical Trial Contracts

Medical Writing Team

Establishing robust metrics at the start of a study, and systems to monitor them in an ongoing manner, should be integral to all work that a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) performs. There is an expectation from clients that metrics will be used to monitor progress or lack of progress, including deviations from the planned schedule. However, these metrics are sometimes not defined clearly at the outset and often not incorporated into clinical trial contracts. A lot of metrics need to be “balanced” between what is controllable by the CRO and what is controllable by the sponsor. Therefore, the metrics that are incorporated into a contract need to be carefully chosen. Ideally it should be a small and accurate set of performance metrics that will meet the customer’s needs and enforce efficient information flow – it being a breach of contract not to provide and review the metrics.

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Topics: Metric Collection, Clinical Trial Contracts, Clinical Trials, CRO Project, CRO Efficiency, Project Management

Should We Be Integrating Mobile Health Apps in Clinical Trials?

Statistical Consultancy Team

Wearables and mobile health (Mhealth) apps collect subject/patient data from mobile or purpose built devices to record data in real time. The rationale behind this type of technology is to reduce the burden on subjects by eliminating unnecessary procedures, streamlining routine procedures and reducing time spent at clinical trial sites. It is evident from the review of a range of literature that studies integrating some form of mobile health technology can be broadly categorised into a few phases of development: studies on the development of new devices, studies on the validity of functional wearable devices, studies comparing new device and conventional endpoints, and finally those studies which trial the device as a health intervention. This article aims to briefly discuss these phases with reference to examples of recent studies demonstrating some safety or efficacy endpoint relating to a newly developed device.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Clinical Study Design, Biostatistics Consulting, Technology Trends, Wearables in Clinical Trials, Wearables, mHealth

The Evolution of Risk-Based & Remote Monitoring

Gavin Boodoo

With a growing trend towards the use of risk-based monitoring, and with new technologies available to support this alternative to traditional onsite monitoring, there remains inertia to implement this approach. Having discussed remote monitoring capabilities with industry peers, we have identified the root cause of this reluctance as an intrinsic fear of flouting regulatory compliance within the conduct of a clinical trial.

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Topics: Regulatory Requirements, Clinical Trials, FDA, Remote Monitoring, Remote Data Capture, Source Data Verification (SDV), On-Site Monitoring, Risk Based Monitoring, Centralized Monitoring

A Guide to the Benefits of Centralized Clinical Data

Commercial Team

If a pharmaceutical, biotech or medical device company outsources its clinical trials, it may be neither practical nor advisable to use one single Clinical Research Organization (CRO). Smaller CROs may not have the infrastructure to deliver large multinational trials, and large CROs may not offer the level of attention or flexibility required for smaller, but no less important, clinical studies. However, whilst the choice of CRO may be study dependent for the clinical aspects (such as patient recruitment, monitoring, clinical project management and regulatory expertise) there are tangible advantages to centralizing all data handling activities with a single provider – one that supports clinical data management, biostatistics, pharmacovigilance and medical writing services.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, CRO Selection, Clinical Data Storage, Centralization, CRO Project, CRO Efficiency, Clinical Data Services, Functional Outsourcing

The Rise of Risk Based Monitoring [Infographic]

Thomas Underwood

Risk Based Monitoring is a term that is not new to the pharmaceutical industry. With increasing demand for budget reduction and reduced time to submission in drug development, both sponsors and vendors are seeking ways to reduce costs whilst still maintaining and potentially improving the quality of the data collected in clinical trials. Study costs can rise considerably for clinical trials with a large number of sites, especially across multiple countries. Risk Based Monitoring can reduce study costs considerably as there is a reduction in the need for CRAs to travel to sites, especially when coupled with a remote monitoring component. Also a reduction in the need to monitor all clinical trial sites and 100% of trial data, as those which are identified as more risk prone are visited more frequently according to targeted or triggered formulas. Even the FDA understands and encourages the desire to move away from 100% source data verification. Why therefore is the general mind-set in clinical operations exhibiting a degree of inertia to change with regard to RBM techniques? 

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Remote Monitoring, Electronic Data Capture, e-Clinical, Source Data Verification (SDV), Adverse Events (AEs), On-Site Monitoring, Serious Adverse Events (SAEs), Clinical Trial Phases, Additional Monitoring, Phase 2 Studies, Technology Trends, CRAs, Risk Based Monitoring

Celebrating International Clinical Trials Day

Marketing Quanticate

Happy International Clinical Trials Day! For those of you who do not know, International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated each year on 20th May. The event was created to commemorate the day James Lind started the first ever clinical trial to try and cure the deadly disease scurvy.

The clinical trial James Lind conducted consisted of using citrus fruit to cure scurvy. At the time the concept of vitamins were unknown, today we know scurvy is a result of vitamin C deficiency. James Lind was the first to study the effects of citrus fruits by conducting a systematic experiment on sailors in 1747 which is now regarded as one of the first clinical experiments in the history of medicine. 

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Ethics, Clinical Data Services, Statistics, International Clinical Trial Day

The Rise of Risk Based Monitoring in Clinical Trials

Thomas Underwood

During drug development the cost of clinical trials can rise significantly for studies that require several monitoring visits across multiple sites. Traditional monitoring techniques account for a large portion of these costs. Pharmaceutical companies absorb the costs of travel when their own Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) visit sites, while CROs normally charge clients these travel costs as pass through charges. It is estimated that remote monitoring in clinical trials could reduce travel costs (including unproductive time spent travelling) by up to 30%, and in theory the practice should be scalable across small to large clinical studies over several clinical trial phases[1]. The unproductive travel time saved also means CRAs have more time available for monitoring activities, aiding with the current CRA shortages[2].

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Remote Monitoring, Electronic Data Capture, e-Clinical, Source Data Verification (SDV), Adverse Events (AEs), On-Site Monitoring, Serious Adverse Events (SAEs), Clinical Trial Phases, Additional Monitoring, Phase 2 Studies, Technology Trends, CRAs, Risk Based Monitoring

Key Considerations When Progressing With an FSP Relationship

Karen Smith

fsp_relationship.jpg

Functional Service Provider (FSP) relationships are becoming more commonplace within the Pharmaceutical Industry.  The aim of such a relationship is a jointly beneficial commercial and financial model which will continually drive improvements in quality and maximise efficiencies and value for the customer.  Collaboration is often defined by company and business goals which can be changeable, and has flexibility to evolve as the business develops which strengthens relationships further.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, CRO Selection, Outsourcing Solutions, Strategic Resourcing, Quality Process Improvement, CRO Efficiency, Functional Outsourcing, FSP

Conducting Randomization in Clinical Trials [VIDEO]

Statistical Consultancy Team

 

When running a clinical trial the industry standard is a double-blind placebo‑controlled parallel group trial. This is because it is the best way to ensure that the characteristics of subjects in each treatment group are the same, whilst ensuring the investigators cannot anticipate the treatment of a subject.

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Topics: Clinical Trials, Statistical Programming, Randomization, Clinical Documents, Serious Adverse Events (SAEs)

How the Hierarchy of Teams Affects the Cost of Clinical Development

Daniel Chapple

The third blog post in our “How Total Value Ownership (TVO) can help shape an outsourcing strategy" blog series.

The location of staff within a functional partnership in clinical development was discussed in a previous blog, but this is closely linked to the experience of staff and where the different levels of experience reside. Having a solution primarily focused around graduates in a low cost area vs. a solution based around experienced team members in a higher cost location can have significant impacts on the cost of clinical development projects. It is likely that any proposed solution will incorporate both sides and understanding the exact make-up of the team will provide some insight into what the Total Value Ownership (TVO) is likely to end up being.
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Topics: Clinical Trials, CRO Selection, Outsourcing Solutions, Strategic Resourcing, CRO Project, CRO Efficiency, Project Management, Functional Outsourcing, FSP, Total Value Ownership

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