Faced with an increasingly competitive market and possible financial losses in the future, Mayo Clinic is shutting down its 17-year-old Mayo Clinical Trial Services (MCTS) Unit.
The Rochester, Minn.-based unit provides lab analysis and data management services to pharmaceutical companies that want to bring drugs to market. The unit opened at a time when there was a market for these types of services that was not being met, according to Mayo spokesperson Adam Brase.
“[MCTS] is in what has become a highly competitive marketplace driven by low-cost, routine testing, which does not take advantage of Mayo’s strengths and highly specialized expertise,” Brase said.
MCTS’ closing will enable the organization to apply resources to service lines that are better matched to Mayo Clinic’s skills, Brase said.
MCTS is a small unit within Mayo Collaborative Services, a larger group of lab services that includes Mayo Medical Laboratories and Mayo Validation Support Services Mayo. These units will continue to operate.
“Both of these [units] are in a profitable growth mode and position Mayo Clinic well for the future as they serve more than 4,000 medical centers and touch more than four million lives annually,” Brase said.
Founded in 1991, MCTS unit has contributed to more than 1,000 clinical trial studies in all major therapeutic areas. MCTS will no longer advertise or accept new business, but the unit will complete all existing contracts for services, which extend through 2010.
Mayo hopes to move most of MCTS’s 100 employees into open positions within the organization. Thirty of those employees will be affected immediately, with 27 more positions to be eliminated in early 2009.
At any given time, Mayo Clinic has between 3,000 to 4,000 ongoing clinical trials. The closing of the unit will not in any way affect Mayo Clinic’s clinical trials or its institutional review board, Brase said.
“Mayo will continue to be a premiere medical center focused on patient care, research and education,” he said.