During DIA 2006, CenterWatch got the inside scoop on ICON's new The Oncology Solution service model during an interview with imaging CRO Beacon Bioscience’s David LaPoint, Vice President of Business Development. Beacon Biosciences was acquired by ICON Clinical in July 2004. According to LaPoint, the solution will allow ICON to bring together their full range of clinical service offerings, including imaging, central laboratory, IVRS and CRF data services.
Here are a few excerpts from that interview:
CW: Can you tell us about your Oncology Solutions offering?
It is really looking at trying to change the conversations with clients about their oncology studies. So instead of going in and talking about traditional clinical CRO services such as the number of sites, CRF pages, etc we are changing the dynamic of the conversation to talk about what their trial endpoints are. What we are trying to do with the Oncology Solution is to begin talking about the outcomes of their studies and bring that conversation in early, then fill in the traditional clinical CRO pieces behind that.
CW: Who would be attracted to this kind of model?
Part of the goal is to sell this proactively, so some of the smaller biotechs and pharma companies are a prime targets for this. Typically these companies are strong on the scientific side and a bit weaker on the business side and generally know very little about imaging and FDA requirements. Oncology is probably 40% of our business and growing and that is largely driven by FDA, and their expectation of a central review of the image data. The FDA has issued draft guidance on imaging endpoints in cancer where they have spelled out some of these expectations on how the data should be collected, archived, analyzed and ultimately submitted back to the agency.
CW: Where did the concept come from?
It was an idea that Ted [Ted Gastineau, CEO at Beacon Biosciences] and I had been kicking around for probably 10 years, and we were just never in a position to be able to take it to the next step. That changed after we began partnering with ICON, who fortunately saw the potential benefits of this. If it is an oncology study looking at solid tumors, their endpoints will most often going to include medical imaging. It started with the focus on imaging because the idea came from here [Beacon], but it certainly includes lead to central labs, ECG and all of the other pieces. It is not just imaging, it is everything.