PharmaSeek, an Investigative Site Network (ISN), is expanding the reach of its network by partnering with the Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation (PRCCI). PRCCI is a newly established nonprofit government trust comprised of multiple clinical research sites throughout Puerto Rico. Through a collaborative network of investigators and the support of PharmaSeek, PRCCI hopes to promote and enhance clinical research and drug development in Puerto Rico.
PharmaSeek will use their many years of experience as an ISN to help PRCCI build and grow a network of their own. The setup of PRCCI's network will largely mirror that of PharmaSeek, which has grown to over 250 research sites throughout the U.S. and Canada and represents research in nearly all therapeutic areas. In addition to study identification, PharmaSeek will provide assistance with site feasibility, contract and budget negotiation, and accounts receivable. At the forefront of these efforts will be PharmaSeek's director of Network Operations, Jill Shilbauer, who will be stationed in Puerto Rico to provide on-site support.
While Puerto Rico has never been known as a hub for clinical trials, studies show that the quality of their research is equivalent to that of the U.S. Furthermore, participation of Puerto Rican volunteers could meet the long-standing need for greater diversity in clinical trials put forth by the FDA. Despite these factors, clinical trials in Puerto Rico have decreased by nearly 50% since 2008, a statistic PharmaSeek and PRCCI hope to quickly reverse.
A five-year strategy will establish the foundation for the network's growth, laying the groundwork for three five-year increments in which PRCCI develops a clinical research hub, followed by a regional center of excellence for clinical research, and finally a Bio-island in 2030.
Many aspects of Puerto Rico make the island a favorable location for research. Its strategic geographic location allows access to the U.S. for expertise, in addition to Central and South America for multi-site trials. Furthermore, Puerto Rico boasts a favorable regulatory environment with U.S. FDA regulation, as well as a world class business environment of international airports, foreign trade zones, mass transit, and an island-wide broadband and fiber optic network.
The development of PRCCI will not only boost the clinical research industry, but the livelihood of Puerto Ricans as well. PRCCI's growth is expected to improve the local economy, promote Puerto Rico as a place of research and development, and create jobs. The network also gives Puerto Ricans a chance to participate in clinical research and gain access to treatments that are not yet commercially available.