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Catalysing Innovation

Sussex Innovation Centre-based One Research was founded in 2010 in response to the problem of recruiting and retaining volunteer patients in sufficient numbers for clinical-research studies. Co-founder and first-time entrepreneur, Alistair Crombie, highlights some of the benefits of being based at the Centre. Many people have business ideas, but it is a big step to go from notes on a napkin to a fully fledged operation. As I see it, the role of science parks and innovation centres, like the Sussex Innovation Centre, is to provide first-time entrepreneurs like myself with the resources, skills and, most importantly, the confidence to take that step. My first experience of the Centre came in the form of an interview with its Executive Director, Mike Herd. Mike’s speciality is strategic insight, particularly spotting the opportunities to refine a business model – getting his feedback at such an early stage was a valuable proving ground before taking on the risk of starting a business. The main things that the Centre looks for in potential members are an innovative idea, and the ambition on the part of the entrepreneur [...]

Catalysing Innovation 2018-01-12T15:33:46+00:00

Patient empowerment key to trial recruitment, report finds

Clinical trials are expensive to run and notoriously time-consuming, but many of these costs and delays are down to inefficiencies associated with recruiting and retaining patients, outlines a new white paper commissioned by One Research. Ten years ago the IBM Institute for Business Value produced a report concluding that “inefficient patient recruitment processes will increasingly become a formidable barrier to pharmaceutical companies’ success in launching new products,” and called for improvements in the patient-recruitment process “to avoid wasted investments and eliminate costly delays in bringing new drugs to market”. These issues “are yet to be eradicated”, note researchers from the University of Sussex Innovation Centre in the new white paper Improving Standards of Patient Recruitment and Retention in Clinical Trials. Broadly speaking, they conclude that significant costs and delays might be avoided by empowering patients more effectively, streamlining the recruitment process for both patients and clinicians, and reducing workload for clinicians and researchers. The report - which draws on insights from a wide range of stakeholders including the clinical-research sector, pharma, CROs and patient advocacy groups - says the industry must improve [...]

Patient empowerment key to trial recruitment, report finds 2017-07-25T14:19:54+00:00

Innovators Supporting Science

Clinical trials can be a trial themselves when researchers are left to find the right candidates. One Research aims to tackle the problem by focusing on communications. To an outsider, it seems strange that clinical trials that have the potential to advance science and even save lives should struggle to find recruits. But despite the fact that the very people needed to try out new treatments are those who stand to benefit from them, the pharmaceutical industry has historically found this aspect of its work particularly challenging. “Twenty per cent of sites looking to trial a new drug end up recruiting no candidates at all, while 70% of trials take longer to find enough people than the programme originally allowed for,” explained Alistair Crombie, managing director of Sussex Innovation Centre-based One Research. The problem in the past has been that recruiting volunteers to take part in trials has been left to the researchers who are running the trials, and that’s not necessarily where their expertise lies. “Researchers want to get on with running the trial and disseminating the results,” explained Alistair. “They [...]

Innovators Supporting Science 2017-07-25T14:49:37+00:00

Pharma sponsorship no barrier to recruitment, says One Research

Despite claims to the contrary, patients are more than willing to engage in industry-sponsored clinical trials, with altruism, access to new treatments and improved understanding of disease the main drivers for participation, says UK-based recruitment and retention specialist One Research. Much of the company’s recruitment work has been for industry partners, and in discussing this with patients “we consistently see upwards of 85% registering their interest in joining the cohort”, One Research notes. Registration rates “are and have been” consistent at this level since the company started its recruitment programmes, it adds. While that does not necessarily translate into final recruitment rates, it “does show the keenness of these patients to be considered for clinical research”, the company points out. Moreover, high registration rates mean enrolment can be conducted quickly and efficiently once suitable trials become available. Science and Technology Committee report One Research contrasts this experience with a “prevailing view” articulated in last September’s report on clinical trials by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. This suggested that public cynicism about the motives and activities of the pharmaceutical industry [...]

Pharma sponsorship no barrier to recruitment, says One Research 2017-07-25T14:28:33+00:00