Houston, Texas-based Accurate Clinical Research (ACR), a self-described clinical coordinating center, has added a second location on Nassau Bay in Houston, where their new partnering physician has both his clinical practice and research practice.
ACR conducts its own clinical trials and also offers various services to physicians who want to conduct clinical research, including contract and budget negotiation, regulatory, business development, staff training, call center development and patient recruitment. Physicians also have the option of having one of ACR’s certified clinical research coordinators (CRCs) come work at their sites.
Physicians new to clinical research work with ACR for about one year before getting the option to join ACR as partnering physicians or to become principal investigators on their own. Partnering physicians still partake in ACR’s centralized services, including having an ACR-certified CRC come work at their site. They also share in the revenue generated from studies they work on.
Dr. Prashanth Sunkureddi, a rheumatologist, is ACR’s new partnering physician and has worked with ACR for about a year as a sub-investigator. He is working on three active protocols at his site. ACR has 20 active protocols in all, mostly in rheumatology and diabetes, though ACR is multispecialty.
Although contract and budget negotiation is handled by ACR centrally, partnering physicians sit down with the central office and review the budgets together with them.
“Dr. [Philip] Waller and I have set up a strategy where physicians come on board with us here. They see how much paperwork is involved, how much detail is involved in clinical research. They know what’s on the back of a 1572. We’ve hired an elite team that works side-by-side with the physician. And then it’s their choice to stay with us or do it on their own,” said Karen Obmaces, research director at ACR. “We go into each individual physician and set up a strategy for them. We offer them facility setup, study management, regulatory compliance, hiring and training, those types of services.”
Waller, ACR’s medical director/principal investigator, added, “Naive physicians don’t have a clue how to find studies. And when they find them, they ask, ‘What do I do now?’ [ACR] gives them a way to get their feet wet without taking the financial responsibility. We make sure they’re physicians of integrity. Physicians who we put on with us have the ACR stamp of approval. We know they’re physicians who meet our standards.”
ACR has grown since it was established in 2007 from one principal investigator and one coordinator to its current six principal investigators, five certified CRCs and two sub-investigators. “We’re building the original location now as well as our second location with Dr. Sunkureddi,” Obmaces said.
ACR plans to continue adding partnering physicians not only in the Houston area or across Texas but in other parts of the country as well. ACR is debt-free and entirely grant-funded.
“We have a lot of exciting news for 2010,” Obmaces said.