Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Washington, D.C.-based BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) is expanding to the West Coast with the opening of a new San Francisco headquarters. The expansion provides BVGH the opportunity to work closely with biotech and investor communities on both coasts.
The Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) has commended the long-awaited privacy rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), saying the proposal strikes an “appropriate balance” between protecting patients and allowing researchers access to health information critical for drug safety monitoring and comparative effectiveness studies.
Indicators that the industry is rebounding continue to roll in. The latest: venture capitalists are spending more on biotechnology companies than in any other sector, and that spending is increasing nicely.
ePharmaSolutions, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based provider of clinical research services, has completed a research survey of over 205 clinical researchers in 18 countries who administer psychometric rating scales to measure the improvement or worsening of symptoms in psychiatric and neurologic clinical trials. Survey highlights: 82% prefer to be trained by a scale author or someone expert in the field, and 90% feel interview skills training prior to site activation helps improve the ability to accurately rate subjects.
Healthcare software company Bio-Optronics and Clinical Research Associates (CRA) have developed a strategic relationship to provide a solution for a clinical research site’s patient recruitment needs, which couples Bio-Optronics’ Clinical Conductor Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) and Clinical Research Associates’ patient recruitment offerings. Clinical Conductor CTMS is an enterprise workflow system for organizing the daily activities involving clinical research. Users can automate their regular routine to track the necessary metrics to maintain a viable research business, create efficiencies to take on more research with the same personnel, negotiate contracts, and efficiently recruit patients. “More sites have been proactively coming to us looking for ways to recruit faster, run trials more effectively, reduce costs, and be more marketable to sponsors,” Bio-Optronics Vice President Maria Durkin said. Clinical Conductor allows sites to leverage data about protocols and patients and provides the ability to quickly identify potential study subjects within an existing patient database. CRA specializes in patient recruitment and appointment scheduling for the clinical research industry.
Victoria University has launched a new post-graduate diploma in clinical research, claiming to be the only qualification of its kind in New Zealand, as part of a wider partnership on research, teaching and technology transfer with the Capital & Coast District Health Board (C&C DHB). The diploma is a distance learning course that will provide clinical researchers with, among other things, the capabilities to pursue drug development and conduct clinical trials, and will be taught mostly online by the university’s staff, together with clinicians from the C&C DHB and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand. According to the university, its Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Research, which begins in July, “takes the best of both the academic and clinical health worlds to strengthen clinical research.” U.S.-based CRO PRA International recently opened in New Zealand, saying the country was a key location for clinical studies in skin cancer, multiple sclerosis and asthma. PRA cited traditionally high recruitment rates across major therapeutic areas such as cardiology, respiratory diseases and gastrointestinal conditions; an efficient regulatory environment; and counter-seasonality for trials involving allergies or influenza.