SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

April 23, 2009 10:18 ET

Top CRO Trait: Ability to Hit Trial Deadlines, Says Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - The ability to consistently meet trial deadlines is the most important quality a clinical research organization (CRO) can offer its clients, according to Cutting Edge Information's latest report, "Clinical Outsourcing Strategy: Selecting Partners and Managing Relationships." In fact, 19 of 21 survey respondents ranked a CRO's skill to meet deadlines as either "extremely important" or "very important" when choosing which CRO to hire.

Missed deadlines are nearly unavoidable during the clinical trial process, often due to lackluster patient recruitment. Every time a trial runs over, costs escalate and targeted milestones such as regulatory submission get pushed back even farther. Being able to guarantee trial duration, on the other hand, prevents these damaging results and makes planning easier.

"Meeting deadlines does not necessarily mean the CRO must produce more in less time," says Jeremy Spivey, research analyst for Cutting Edge Information and lead author of the report. "Just having the ability to gauge how trial protocols will manifest in real life enables CROs to help sponsors plan better trials and budget based on real-world projections. That saves everyone from financial and organizational strain."

In this environment, says Spivey, the lowest project bids do not guarantee new clients. Sponsor companies have experienced too many trial delays to overlook a CRO's history of meeting -- or failing to meet -- deadlines.

Cutting Edge Information's report examines clinical outsourcing trends and provides strategies for eliminating common obstacles in CRO selection and management. It shows trial sponsors how to formulate a proactive outsourcing strategy, establish criteria for selecting a vendor and manage day-to-day CRO relationships. It also breaks down the risks and benefits of outsourcing to underdeveloped countries.

Key metrics measure the following vendor-selection criteria:

--  Overall cost and preferred status in CRO selection
--  CRO size and geographic reach
--  Vendor work quality
--  Relationship management
--  Different CROs' ability to meet deadlines

The report also breaks down the outsourcing timeline with a focus on the following points:

--  Number of CROs submitting proposals by clinical phase
--  Weeks elapsed from proposal deadline to final CRO/vendor selection by
    clinical phase
--  Time spent negotiating contracts with CROs/vendors

Free report brochure available here:

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