With the emergence of basket trials in the early-phase oncology setting, clinical research teams are…
Julie Martin, MSc, MBA, Lean certified, CEO and Co-owner has been part of the team at Scimega, since 2013. Her passion for the business stems from knowing her company’s expert oncology clinical development services add distinct value to industry stakeholders at a time when it’s needed most. Her vision is to secure the company’s long-term success by leveraging her in-depth industry expertise and business acumen.
As Julie clearly states “we are a Canadian CRO with a singular focus on oncology. We are dedicated to improving the speed and efficiency of oncology clinical research here in Canada through a deep understanding of how best to match the needs of our sponsors with local investigators who are part of our network of sites.”
When she says ‘we’ Julie isn’t only referring to her business partners and the company’s Co-Founding Partners, Denise Deakin and Andrée Marceau, two dynamic entrepreneurs who shared a vision and built their CRO together to fulfill an unmet need for excellence in the area of Canadian oncology clinical research.
Scimega was founded to meet a gap in the industry for superior clinical trial services in the complex field of oncology research in Canada. As Denise and Andrée recall in 1997, we were trail blazers, and most sponsors didn’t understand the importance of our unique business model. In the ensuing 23 years many have come to value our expertise and optimal operations design, that enables us to consistently go above-and-beyond for every one of our sponsors’ studies.
Today Julie equates success with setting a clear vision for this continued sense of purpose. She is responsible for developing successful business strategies and leveraging industry opportunities all of which support the common vision she shares with both her Co-owners and their entire team. Julie’s leadership and collaboration with the managing Board of Directors, esteemed colleagues with whom she has worked alongside for many years, ensure the business excellence upon which Scimega has built its reputation.
When Julie refers to her Scimega team of oncology experts as “the company’s greatest resource” she is not simply paying lip service. This CRO ‘walks-the-talk’ when it comes to the high level of professionalism their clients can count on. All Scimega personnel are full time, permanent hires, who are respected and valued for their important contribution to oncology clinical research, resulting in exceptional quality, consistency and reliability from the company overall. Scimega CRAs each have 5 years of oncology experience as well as 6.5 years of clinical research experience.
A majority of Scimega’s work force have themselves been study coordinators/managers with Canadian research centers. In fact, many of them have worked along-side the Scimega team on oncology trials at these centers. And many have participated in valuable lessons learned which they bring with them to Scimega. This results in a remarkably cohesive team with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to succeed, including applied knowledge of local policies, requirements, and particularities. Skills necessary to ensure the best site performance on the oncology trials they work on for their clients in Canada.
Further evidence of Scimega’s well-managed and strong team is the low turnover of staff, a fact that contributes significantly to the company’s consistently high SDV rates. Of particular importance in the learning phase of early development trials. And as Julie attests “our stable team readily handles high and variable data flow, protocol amendments, and changes to study design at a fast pace. In our quest to promote Canada as a fertile region in which to conduct oncology trials, we must help guide our sponsors in making fact based or evidence-based decisions. This comes in the form of robust metrics compiled over a long period of time…in other words, reliable.”
It’s important not to overlook the specialized niche CRO when selecting the best option for your oncology clinical trial. As Scimega’s CEO, Julie plays a vital role in promoting Scimega’s expertise and showcasing Canada’s attributes as a formidable partner in global oncology drug development. She is often asked questions that would imply that the larger, full-service CROs they’ve consulted with on the possibility may not fully understand the considerable advantages possible for mid-size and smaller US biotechs when choosing to bring their oncology programs to Canada in collaboration with Scimega.
As Julie candidly states “continuously making a difference in the area of cancer research is something our team at Scimega dedicates itself to every day. Busting myths fabricated by others with less specialized expertise that might prevent small and mid-size US biopharma from bringing their cutting-edge trials to Canada is all in our day’s work!”
Contributed by: Denise Beamish, BA, DIA, MBA, Marketing Specialist