The COVID-19 pandemic has required the clinical research industry to find new and innovative ways…
People often adhere to a myth and perpetuate it in answer to a difficult question, ending all further inquiry into whether or not there is valid supporting evidence for the particular myth they’ve chosen to believe.
Some Facts About Conducting Clinical Trials in the ‘New Normal’
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the clinical trial industry to adapt, adapt, adapt! Breaking old paradigms, and busting the myths about operating in different regions to overcome COVID challenges to maximize opportunities for your cutting-edge oncology clinical trial is more important than ever.
In these trying times your partners must evidence their reliability and add-value to your project. They must be transparent and constant in sharing what they are doing to help you stay on top of the ‘new normal.’
We may be a several months into this pandemic, but we are not out yet so we must anticipate the need to jump through more hoops now and into the near future. So be ready!
It is probably too soon to fully appreciate the impact of the outbreak on our industry. Of note however, Canada has had the good fortune of seeing less disease. Which continues to be the case 5 months in, placing the region in an excellent position to contribute to patient enrollment.
Key in your response to the dynamic and evolving challenges of this pandemic on your oncology clinical trials is maximizing the learning curve for each opportunity that emerges.
Further, Sponsors must rapidly reassess and determine where is the best region today for their trials given these new conditions.
These are no myths! And given the resources at stake and the probability of delays and potential failure to complete a study in the US clinical trial landscape today, one must explore all options and apply considerable due diligence in finding ways to mitigate the impact of new and existing obstacles.
Clearly Sponsors favor a CRO that can reach recruitment goals 10% faster, even when compared to 20% lower study costs. However, when discrepancies arise between CRO recruitment goal promises and actual performance this is where myths may be born to provide answers to some of those difficult questions that arise.
Interestingly, just as believing in myths is intrinsic to our human nature, so too without prior experience with a provider, Sponsors may simply turn to one or another of the large CROs that dominate rather than explore performance areas where smaller or more focused CROs shine. All of us tend to resist change, even if it might be our best alternative.
What You May Not Know – Some Facts About Conducting Clinical Trials in Canada
It’s important not to overlook the specialized niche CRO when selecting the best option for your oncology clinical trial; to overcome the natural tendency to believe the myth, and undertake the due diligence necessary to best serve your possibility of successfully attaining your trial objectives it is so very important to explore all your options. Including Canada!
US Sponsors are often surprised to hear: Canadian patients participate in clinical trials at a higher rate than many other regions, including the US. in part this is due to the collaborative nature of our public health care system.
In addition, and also related to how our health care system is set-up, Canada tends to have a higher number of treatment-naive patients, especially in the immuno-oncology area. For this reason, Canada is an ideal region for expansion to help enroll in cohorts that under-perform elsewhere.
Did you know that for the 10th year we continue to have an increase of physicians per capita in Canada? Aligned with this, the wave of younger clinical researchers continues to increase as well.
Trials conducted in Canada, are positively impacted by advantages related to the region. In a nutshell, more patients participate to trials in Canada, the country doesn’t suffer a shortage of physicians like some other regions do, and there is a cultural appeal for academia which leads to investigators who are very motivated by research.
There are fewer competing trials in Canada (No more than 18% of oncology trials ongoing in the US in 2019 expanded to Canada) where there are treatment-naive patient populations in many indications.
How Best to Bring Your Cutting-Edge Oncology Clinical Trial to Canada
The main reason Sponsors expand their trials to Canada with Scimega is most often to avoid delays in study progress that can dramatically increase the risk of study failure. Other reasons cited are to: tackle a difficult/rare patient population; reduce the impact of competing trials in other regions; access untapped pools of patients; and facilitate registration in multiple regions.
In the ‘new normal’ we face today, another reason to expand your trial to Canada is to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your study. Scimega is a strong player with very high pre-COVID performance, and we have every intention to continue exceeding expectations. The current outbreak is not the first hurdle we’ve had to overcome throughout our 23 years of existence, and we will survive the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Scimega’s business model effectively supports US biotechs expanding their oncology trials to Canada. In record time, our proven feasibility assessment approach and team of oncology research experts are engaged with an active network of key Sites.
As a Canadian oncology CRO with a singular focus on oncology. We play a vital role in improving the speed and efficiency of oncology clinical research through a deep understanding of the needs of Sponsors, Investigators and trial participants.
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: Julie Martin, Director, Clinical Operations